[Tweeters] Westport Pelagic Trip, May 4, 2019

Bruce LaBar blabar at harbornet.com
Mon May 6 16:11:38 PDT 2019

Our third pelagic trip of the year was timed perfectly. The seas were great, cloud cover for low glare and lots of colorful migrating seabirds. The next day the winds were supposed to get pretty bad with many fishing boats already canceling out. We were fortunate to run into hundreds of birds about 20 miles offshore going out and on our way back. 859 breeding plumaged Red-necked Phalaropes, 104 stunning Pacific Loons and 431 gorgeous Sabine’s Gulls were the highlights in this congregation. Our chum spot at roughly 40 miles offshore was a huge success, perhaps thanks to a new fish oil that seemed to work magic. We had 90 Black-footed Albatross and 74 Fork-tailed Storm Petrels that came into our slick, seemly out of nowhere. These amazing tubenoses can sense smell from miles away. Other highlights include the arrival of the migrating Sooty Shearwaters with 2696 recorded, 35 Pink-footed Shearwaters, 12 Cassin’s Auklets, 23 Common Terns and 2 Arctic Terns that several observers got to see. The only jaeger seen was a Parasitic that was chasing a Sabine’s Gull all over the place at our chum spot. We had only 1 Northern Fulmar that was following a returning fishing boat. We wondered where the fulmars are. Breeding, at other places or is there some problems in their population? Coming back closer to shore, we had 1 Ancient Murrelet and on the jetty, 1 Wandering Tattler, 2 Surfbirds and 1 Black Turnstone.
Mammal highlights were 7 Humpback Whales and 3 Gray Whales.
Our next scheduled pelagic trip is on May 18. To make reservations and to inquire about any other information, please visit our website at www.westportseabirds.
Many thanks to all that came on this great trip! All the numbers of each species can be found on our website.
Spotters were Bill Tweit and myself. Boat personnel and spotters were Phil and Chris Anderson.

Bruce LaBar
Tacoma, WA

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