[Tweeters] Westport Seabirds 5/16/15 trip report
bfalbatross at gmail.com
Sun May 17 12:18:26 PDT 2015
Westport Seabirds, headed offshore yesterday with a boatload of birder. In
addition to local birders, we were joined by birders from Colorado, BC,
Maryland, and Australia. Spotters were Bruce Labar, Bill Shelmerdine, and
myself, with Skipper Phil Anderson and first mate Chris Anderson.
Two miles off Westport we encountered our only South Polar Skua of the day,
which is rare in May and so close to shore. This was an outer slope trip,
the goal being to get to deeper water to find Leach’s Storm-Petrels.
Several came in to the chum we put out, along with dozens of Fork-tailed
Storm-Petrels, allowing for close study of the two species and their
different flight styles.
A Manx Shearwater put in a brief appearance several miles off the harbor
entrance on the return trip. Small numbers of Common Tern and Bonaparte’s
Gull at the mouth of the harbor on the way out turned into much bigger
numbers on the way in, with a flock of 400+ terns. The three Parasitic
Jaegers of the day weren’t harassing the flock but weren’t far away.
Totals for the day:
139 Black-footed Albatross
11 Northern Fulmar
1744 Sooty Shearwater
269 Pink-footed Shearwater
265 Fork-tailed Storm-Petrel
6 Leach’s Storm-Petrel
425 Red-necked Phalarope
6 Red Phalarope
1 South Polar Skua
3 Parasitic Jaeger
3 Black-legged Kittiwake
58 Sabine’s Gull
23 Cassin’s Auklet
2 Tufted Puffin
1 Manx Shearwater
Marine mammals for the day were two Humpback Whales and Harbor Porpoise,
with Steller’s Sea Lions sprawled across the nearshore channel markers and
California Sea Lions hogging one of the docks in the marina. For more
complete numbers and future trip dates go to www.westportseabirds.com.
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