[Tweeters] Westport Seabirds March 27 Trip Report - Parakeet Auklets, early spring migrants

Gene Revelas grevelas at integral-corp.com
Thu Mar 31 07:01:07 PDT 2022

Hi Tweets -

We had another fantastic day on the water with Westport Seabirds last Sunday, March 27th. Due to high seas and wind on Saturday, Phil moved the trip to Sunday. While we had some patches of fog, the conditions were really great, especially for March, with relatively flat seas and no spray all day. We had a full complement of 18 enthusiastic birders on board, mostly from the Northwest, but we did have a couple Tennesseans and a Texan who had blown into town to see the now famous Red-flanked Bluetail in Lake Forest Park.

Bird highlights included eight species of alcids, including a nice total of 26 Parakeet Auklets, Tufted Puffins (2), Common Murres (79), Rhinoceros Auklets (130), Cassin's Auklets (18), Pigeon Guillemots (37, all offshore migrants), Ancient Murrelets (5), and Marbled Murrelets (2). Except for the Ancient Murrelets which were flybys only, we had great looks at all of the other alcid species sitting on the water relatively close to the boat. Other bird species observed offshore were the first Black-footed Albatross (58) and Fork-tailed Storm-petrels (24) of the year, a few Northern Fulmar (8), both Sooty (15) and Short-tailed Shearwaters (6), some early Red Phalaropes (11), Black-legged Kittiwakes (76), Herring (10), Iceland (Thayer's) (3), California (5), and of course Glaucous-winged/Western hybrid Gulls (125). Finally, apparently the overnight offshore wind blew some migrating passerines off course. On the early morning transit west, we had both Ruby-crowned and Golden-crowned Kinglets, a Dark-eyed Junco, and a Yellow-rumped (Audubon's) Warbler. The exhausted warbler landed both on the boat and briefly on a customer's shoulder.

Unexpectedly for an early spring trip, marine mammals also put on a good show, with two Humpbacks and a Gray Whale seen. A large pod of about 150 Pacific White-sided Dolphins, 20 Northern Right-whale Dolphins, and a few Northern Fur Seals, surrounded the boat for a good 20 minutes in deep water frolicking in the boat's bow and stern wakes to everyone's delight.

On the way home, the inshore waters, the jetty, the harbor, and the marina added many Surf (372) and a couple White-winged (2) Scoters, the three expected loon and cormorant species, Harlequin Ducks (2), one quick, fly-away Surfbird, a Willet, both Steller's and California Sea-Lions, and Harbor Porpoise. As always, the Monte Carlo was expertly crewed by Phil and Chris Anderson. The spotters for this trip were Scott Mills, Ryan Merrill, and Gene Revelas. The complete species list will be on the Westport Seabirds website and eBird soon. Please check the Westport Seabirds website for the 2022 trip schedule and availability for the remainder of the year. We look forward to seeing you offshore.

Happy Birding and Happy Spring!

Gene Revelas, on behalf of Westport Seabirds
Olympia, WA

Gene Revelas | Senior Science Advisor
Tel: 360.939.9618 | Cell: 360.870.4950
501 Columbia Street NW, Suite D | Olympia | WA 98501
grevelas at integral-corp.com | www.integral-corp.com

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