[Tweeters] Holland America Cruise - Murphy's Petrels in Washington Waters

Brad Waggoner wagtail24 at gmail.com
Sun May 10 10:54:52 PDT 2015


Hi All,

My brother Dan and I joined Paul Lehman and Babara Carlson, along with
about 20 other birders, on a May 5-9 Holland America Cruise from San
Diego to Vancouver BC. I have copied Paul's trip summary and totals
below so one can get a good idea of what is possible on such a cruise at
this time of year. We were fortunate to hit very strong winds during the
two full days after the late afternoon departure Tuesday from San Diego.
The two benefits of these strong winds were that we were able to enjoy a
great pterodroma show (see numbers below), while being quite comfortable
with using scopes, and the ship was delayed by a few hours. The delay
allowed a full day of birding in Washington waters on Friday. The
morning portion of our Washington day, possibly due to being over a
portion of Astoria Canyon along with having "normal" winds, was fairly
active. Highlight obviously for Dan and I was a cooperative and close
Murphy's Petrel during this time.

Not mentioned below by Paul, but of interest to Dan and I given we don't
bird San Diego waters was that we also had Black-vented Shearwaters (on
the early side), Black Storm-Petrels, along with plenty of Scripp's
Murrelets while heading out on our first evening. And, Brown Boobies
have become a bit ho-hum in those waters, but still cool for us to see.

Cheers and good birding,
Brad Waggoner
Bainbridge Island, Washington


Another very successful repositioning cruise between San Diego and
Victoria/Vancouver was attended by almost 20 birders. It departed PM on
May 5 from San Diego, hit gale-force N/NW winds most of May 6 & 7 (with
waves up to 15+ feet----though sailed through it all with just little
bumps and a couple especially large-wave jolts, but always smooth enough
that we all easily used our scopes and felt no queasiness at all--and
winds which the pterodromas clearly "enjoyed." On May 6 we traveled from
off w. Santa Barbara County to off s. San Francisco County; high winds
and slow forward speed that night brought us at dawn on the 7th only to
off central Mendocino County, and the 7th ended off n. Curry County, in
s. Oregon. May 8 was spent off the WA coast. Highlights were the
record high total of 123 Murphy's Petrels, 14 Hawaiian Petrels, 15
Cook's Petrels, 10 Laysan Albatrosses, and 2 northerly (for the date)
Scripps's Murrelets. Many Murphy's and some Hawaiians (including a
"flock" of 2 together) provided excellent views very close to the ship.

MAY 5 (PM)

SAN DIEGO COUNTY
Brown Booby: 9
Sabine's Gull: 8

MAY 6

SANTA BARBARA COUNTY
Laysan Albatross: 2
Murphy's Petrel: 2
Cook's Petrel: 4

SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY
Laysan Albatross: 4
Murphy's Petrel: 11
Hawaiian Petrel: 1
Cook's Petrel: 3
Leach's Storm-Petrel: 40

MONTEREY COUNTY
Laysan Albatross: 1
Murphy's Petrel: 20
Hawaiian Petrel: 2
Cook's Petrel: 8
Long-tailed Jaeger: 1
Arctic Tern: 1

SAN MATEO COUNTY
Laysan Albatross: 3
Murphy's Petrel: 3
Arctic Tern: 2

SAN FRANCISCO COUNTY
Murphy's Petrel: 4
Hawaiian Petrel: 2

MAY 7

MENDOCINO COUNTY
Murphy's Petrel: 25
Hawaiian Pettrel: 4
Red Knot: flock of 30
Scripps's Murrelet: 2 (pair)
Arctic Tern: 1

HUMBOLDT COUNTY
Murphy's Petrel: 13
Hawaiian Petrel: 5
Whimbrel: flock of 25
Arctic Tern: 1

DEL NORTE COUNTY
Murphy's Petrel: 25

CURRY COUNTY, OR
Murphy's Petrel: 18
Sabine's Gull: 450

8 May

PACIFIC COUNTY, WA
Murphy's Petrel: 2
Long-tailed Jaeger: 7


--Paul Lehman, San Diego


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