[Tweeters] September 23rd Westport Seabirds Pelagic Trip - Laysan Albatross, Flesh-footed Shearwater, and Marine Mammals

Gene Revelas grevelas at integral-corp.com
Sun Oct 1 06:56:21 PDT 2017

Hi Tweets -

Apologies for this belated Westport Seabirds trip from last Saturday, September 23. The conditions were comfortable as we made our way past the tip of the Westport Jetty around 6:45 am. There was a little swell that decreased over the course of the day, but light to calm winds for the entire day and little to no spray. As has been the pattern throughout late August and September this year, bird numbers and activity on the continental shelf were low, but we did pick up seven Common Terns, one Pomarine Jaeger, Common Murres, Rhinoceros and Cassin's Auklets, Sooty and Pink-footed Shearwaters, Northern Fulmars, and on the outer shelf, a few Fort-tailed Storm-petrels. A couple hours into our transit due west towards our planned destination, Grays Canyon, Skipper Phil Anderson noticed that a Whiting Boat was fishing at the edge of Willapa Canyon to our southwest, so we redirected our run that way and spent much of the day in Pacific County. The decision was a good one as the Whiting Boat had the most of the birds we would see offshore. This included about 60 Black-footed Albatross, one cooperative Laysan Albatross, a species we have seen on nearly all of our September trips this year, about 200 Pink-foots, 350+ Northern Fulmar, three Buller's Shearwaters, one Short-tailed Shearwater, and one Flesh-footed Shearwater seen briefly but well by folks on the stern. On transit home mostly in Pacific County, we added good looks at a couple of South Polar Skua.

The marine mammal diversity and viewing on this trip was incredible, particularly on the transit out. We ended up with six cetacean species for the day. This included the regular species that we often see, like Harbor and Dall's Porpoise, and six Humpback Whales. One Humpback breached in out in front us for many to see, and one entertained us with repeated fin slapping. Several groups of Pacific White-sided Dolphins were seen, and we estimated a total of 70 animals for the day. A couple of Northern Right-whale Dolphins with their distinctive dorsal finless, black torpedo-like appearance were mixed in one group of the White-sides. Finally, a pod of nine, blunt-headed Risso's Dolphins was seen at the surface close to the boat while many White-sides splashed in the distance. Once again, we ended the trip with a great look at a Bar-tailed Godwit roosting in Westport Marina with the Marbled Godwit flock.

The final numbers and a complete species list have been posted on Westport Seabirds.com and on ebird. Spotters for the trip were Bill Tweit and Gene Revelas. Skipper Phil Anderson and Chris Anderson made sure the trip was a success. There is only one more trip left for 2017, next Saturday, October 7th. But there are spots available on that trip, please check http://westportseabirds.com/ if you are interested in signing up or for more information.

Gene Revelas
Olympia, WA

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