A Sunny Oregon Pelagic

Barely a month back from my California pelagic trip, it was time to set sail again. This time from my favorite place, Newport, OR, and this time with friends, because boat trips are even better with barf-buddies.

All aboard

Lucky for us, it was a calm day at sea and we had some good drugs and good distractions. Past the jetties we found Marbled Murrelets, White-winged Scoters, and Red-necked Phalaropes.

Further along we saw Cassin’s Auklets and Rhinoceros Auklets, a couple still sporting some breeding plumage.

Once in the open seas we found a quartet of shearwaters including:

Sooty Shearwater
Pink-footed Shearwater
Buller’s Shearwater

And perhaps the “rarest” bird of the trip, a single Flesh-footed Shearwater.

Around here is where I saw my best bird of the trip, a new state bird, Arctic Tern.

There were many of these tiny terns flitting around the sky and diving down to the water.

They have less black in the wings and smaller bill and leg proportions than Common Terns, which we also saw on this trip (but I didn’t get photos of). It takes a well-trained eye to tell those two apart in the skies, I will leave that to the experts.

It was easy to recognize Sabine’s Gulls coming in for a popcorn landing.

And everyone’s favorite friend, Black-footed Albatross.

We missed skuas, but saw many jaegers, including two individual Long-tailed Jaegers.

I managed a craptastic photo of a Parasitic Jaeger.

And we had one very cooperative Pomarine Jaeger.

That put on the best show when it went after a gull with food.

Brutal! And surprisingly, the gull didn’t drop the food. Pretty incredible.

On the return trip, we spent some time on the water by the Yaquina Head Lighthouse.

Watching Gray Whales feed close to shore.

Humans for scale

It was a great day at sea! Boat trips are better with friends and even better when we all make it out alive without getting sick!

Turning into an “old salt.”

Tweets and chirps,

Audrey