[Tweeters] Westport Seabirds Trip Report Saturday, September 17, 2022

Cara Borre cmborre1 at gmail.com
Wed Sep 21 06:43:16 PDT 2022

Westport enjoyed beautiful weather on and offshore on Saturday, September
17 much to the delight of a great group of pelagic birders. Sea conditions
were quite pleasant with just enough wind to spotlight the birds who use it
to help them forage.

Traveling quickly through the Sooty Shearwater (1988 - day totals) and
Common Murre (1034) zone we took the opportunity to orient the first timers
to these representatives of the shearwater and alcid groups and recommended
using them as the reference to compare other species within these groups.

Though we ended the day a Long-tailed short of the skua slam, we could not
complain about our jaeger and skua viewing opportunities. Parasitic Jaeger
(6) was greatly outnumbered by a whopping 21 Pomarine Jaegers, several of
which circled the boat sporting full spoon tails. South Polar Skua (5),
the beefy cousin in this group, showed well with a light morph and/or
bleached individual hanging out with us for most of our chum stop.

We had nice sized flocks of Sabine’s Gull (182) throughout the day and this
beautiful and graceful migrant left an impression on those who added it to
their life lists. Most of the phalarope migration is now behind us with
only 9 Red-neckeds recorded for the day.

Continuing offshore toward some fishing boats we encountered a decent
showing from Rhinoceros Auklet (47), but saw only 6 Cassin’s Auklets, most
in hurried flight, or a brief surface glimpse quickly disappearing in a
dive. Once at the boats, we added Pink-footed Shearwater (254) to the mix
and our Sooty numbers increased dramatically, though the draggers boats
were not engaged in hauling in their nets. We got a few Short-tailed
Shearwater (25) here, but as is often the case they showed better at our
chum stop.

Continuing offshore we encountered our first Black-footed Albatross (41)
and several Northern Fulmar (57). We also got our first looks at Buller’s
Shearwater (10), which we would be able to appreciate several more times
during our journey. During the voyage out to our chum stop we were treated
to an exciting visit from Dall’s Porpoise (22). They kept a quick pace and
rode our bow for a good long while allowing excellent visualization of
their black and white bodies and characteristic rooster-tail splash as
their stubby dorsal fins slice through the surface. This was certainly our
mammal highlight of the trip, though we had many Humpback Whale (20)
sightings including several distant breaches. We also recorded Harbor
Porpoise (3), Northern Fur Seal (3), California (2) and Steller’s (7) Sea
Lions, and a Harbor Seal.

The chum stop was excellent with a nice mix of the birds already mentioned
and great additions including Fork-tailed Storm-Petrel (22). With the skua
flying in and out of gulls and circling the boat many times, our attention
strayed to a passing Pomarine Jaeger when the call of “Laysan Albatross”
came out from the port side of the boat. The Laysan was cooperative
circling us several times before finally peeling off for parts unknown. We
lingered here for close to an hour studying the birds, recording images and
memories, before turning and heading back.

The trip back intercepted a shrimper, with good bird viewing, though no new
species. Our fish tally for the day included Blue Shark (2) and Ocean
Sunfish (4). We arrived back in Westport at high tide with no rock
shorebirds found on our jetty scan. Our reliable marina Marbled Godwit
(500) flock was roosting in the boat basin to welcome us home. Another
trip well run by Captain Phil Anderson and First Mate Chris Anderson.
Spotters included Bill Tweit, Gene Revelas and me. Thanks to all who
joined us for a great day of birding.

Hope to sea you out there!

Cara Borre
Gig Harbor
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://mailman11.u.washington.edu/pipermail/tweeters/attachments/20220921/4f69c67e/attachment.html>

More information about the Tweeters mailing list