Bruce LaBar blabar at harbornet.com
Sun Feb 15 09:11:38 PST 2015

After last week’s canceled pelagic trip, due to very rough sea conditions, we were able to venture out yesterday. Seventeen hardy seafarers, including the leaders and the boat personal, experienced a very interesting day. The weather forecast was for favorable seas and sunshine in afternoon. We did have some bumpy conditions out and back but for a winter pelagic, it was great! Bird diversity during the winter is scarce but most of the birders came with the unusual sightings in mind. As I posted several weeks ago, these winter trips have produced some really great sightings. Yesterday didn’t disappoint!
Leaving the dock around 7:00 a.m., we encountered many Black-legged Kittiwakes not to far from shore. After that the sightings were of Common Murres, Ancient Murrelets, a few dark shearwaters at a distance, a couple of Northern Fulmars and 3 Pink-footed Shearwaters. At 35 miles out, we stopped and put out a chum to attract any birds in the area. This was extremely slow, with a few fulmars, Herring Gulls, Black-legged Kittiwakes and a couple of Black-footed Albatross.
We were about to tally our numbers and head back when we heard a commotion coming from the stern. Laysan Albatross was the call, as everyone rushed out. Phil Anderson our boat captain gunned the boat and headed towards where the bird had flown. We came upside it and realized that there were 2 individuals. These sightings made waiting well worth it. The Laysan’s was a life bird for several on boat, congrats Tina!
Heading back, we had several sightings of Cassin’s Auklet’s and Rhinoceros Auklet’s. One alcid flew up in front of us and headed away. Several birders got good views and yelled Parakeet Auklet! Later, another one was viewed, also heading away from the boat. A few photos confirmed the sighting!
A great day at sea for all, including rainbows in the morning and two really great sightings later in the day.
The following is the list of species seen and the numbers of individuals.

Surf Scoter-40
White-winged Scoter-11
Bufflehead-in harbor
Greater Scaup-in harbor
Red-throated Loon-1
Pacific Loon-3
Common Loon-4
Red-necked Grebe-3
Western Grebe-1
Black-footed Albatross-5
Northern Fulmar-21
Pink-footed Shearwater-3
Sooty/Short-tailed Shearwater-7
Brandt’s Cormorant-33
Double-crested Cormorant-20
Pelagic Cormorant-5
Great Blue Heron-2
Least Sandpiper-2, in harbor
Black-legged Kittiwake-243
Mew Gull-30
Herring Gull-49
Thayer’s Gull-1, in harbor
Western/Glaucous-winged Gull-170
Common Murre-725
Ancient Murrelet-7
Cassin’s Auklet-11
Rhinoceros Auklet-10
Peregrine Falcon-1

Leaders: Jim Danzenbaker and myself. Boat personal and spotters: Phil and Chris Anderson

Bruce LaBar
Tacoma, WA

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