[Tweeters] Westport Seabirds Trip Report April 17, 2021 – A Winter and Spring Mix

Gene Revelas grevelas at integral-corp.com
Thu Apr 22 07:54:17 PDT 2021

Hi Tweets,

Last Saturday, April 17th, Westport Seabirds enjoyed its second pelagic trip of 2021. We were lucky to run right into the middle of this unseasonably warm and dry April weather. The Monte Carlo, crewed as always by Phil and Chris Anderson, with spotters Scott Mills, Bruce LaBar, and me (Gene Revelas) and 18 very enthusiastic seasoned and rookie seabirders left the dock at 6am and headed out to sea under clear and brightening skies. As had been the pattern all week, the light wind was offshore (more on that later) and the ride over the bar was smooth. The early morning harbor and nearshore birds included numbers of four goose species (White-fronted, Canada, Cackling, and Brant), three loons (Red-throated, Pacific, and Common), all three expected Cormorants, and White-winged and Surf Scoters.

On the transit west across the shelf, we enjoyed good views of Common Murres, hundreds of Sooty Shearwaters, two Ancient Murrelets right in front of the boat, scattered Rhinoceros Auklets and five Tufted Puffin flybys, an unusually high number for a Westport trip. We also enjoyed a nice assortment of winter and spring migrant gulls - Herring, Mew (all immatures), Black-legged Kittiwakes (all immatures), Bonaparte’s and our first Sabine’s of the year. Just two hours from the dock, we saw our first of over 50 Black-footed Albatross for the day and a number of Pink-footed Shearwaters (the numbers of both of these birds will build through the spring and summer). We also saw the first of the two Pomarine Jaegers for the day. The offshore wind had apparently moved northbound passerine migrants out over the ocean. By day’s end, we would identify five land birds well offshore, often circling the boat (sadly looking for a place to rest), these included Northern Flicker, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Dark-eyed Junco, and Orange-crowned and Yellow-rumped Warblers (both Myrtle and Audubon’s). Finally, we had close views of both Gray (2) and Humpbacks (11) Whales.

As we got into deeper water, we added Cassin’s Auklets and Northern Fulmar. At our chum spot at 125° west, we had close photo op views of many of the species seen on the transit out. We tarried out in deep water but added no new bird species. On the sunny and calm ride home, we crossed paths with a group of about 12 Dall’s Porpoise who ran with us in our bow wave for a good 15+ minutes, I actually heard “oohs and aahs” from the folks on the bow fixated by this spectacular show right at their feet.

Back near and in the harbor, we added Western Grebes, Pigeon Guillemots, both Steller’s and California Sea-Lions, Harbor Porpoise, and on the jetty Black-bellied Plover, a few Black Turnstone and one Surfbird. Finally, three late wintering Harlequin Ducks were seen in the Marina. Our 2021 season is off to a great start, please visit the Westport Seabirds website for trip schedules, information, and availability. We hope to see you offshore sometime soon!

Gene Revelas
Olympia, WA

Gene Revelas | Senior Consultant
Tel: 360.939.9618 | Cell: 360.870.4950
1205 West Bay Drive NW | Olympia | WA 98502
grevelas at integral-corp.com | www.integral-corp.com

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