Pelagic Birding

Today we woke up at 4:30 am to leave on the Westport Seabirds trip to Gray’s Canyon. The sea conditions were very good. It was just after sunrise when we left the Marina. We saw high numbers Glaucus-winged Gull x Western Gull hybrids and Brown Pelicans. for the first stretch we saw many Pigeon Guillemots and two Heermann’s Gulls. The first Common Murres were soon accompanied  by Sooty Shearwaters and two quickly flying Cassin’s Auklets.

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Sooty Shearwater

In the distance we could see the shape of a Pink-footed Shearwater. We made our way to a fishing boat that had many seabirds including my lifer Black-footed Albatross and Fork-tailed Storm-Petrel. A Northern Fulmar also stayed close to our boat.

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Northern Fulmar

A we went further out we saw more Black-footed Albatrosses and four Leach’s Storm-Petrel. We began chumming at the depth of 2,500 feet. We had  both Storm-Petrel species and five more Black-footed Albatross.

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Black-footed Albatross

After about three hours around Gray’s Canyon we headed back it was rather slow bu we did see a Tufted Puffin in the distance. We arrived back just after 3:30 on the way in we saw a squabble of Heermann’s Gulls and just under 1000 Brown Pelicans perched on the walls of the Marina.

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Heermann’s Gulls
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Brown Pelican

All in all I got ten life birds and got seasick  twice so it was a very good day (but not the seasickness).

 

 

 

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