Thursday, January 19, 2012

"Winter" pelagic trip: March 10, 2012

Winter seas off Oregon are frequently too rough for pelagic trips. Fortunately, though, winter birds continue into spring.

So, such winter specialties such as LAYSAN ALBATROSSES, SHORT-TAILED SHEARWATERS, and ANCIENT MURRELETS are regular in March, when seas average a bit calmer.

March is also the peak of abundance of BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKES and RHINOCEROS AUKLETS.

Several rare species have also been found in March, including SHORT-TAILED ALBATROSSES, FLESH-FOOTED SHEARWATERS, MANX SHEARWATERS, and HORNED PUFFINS.

So, our first trip of the year is a "winter" trip on Saturday, March 10, 2012.

Since 2001, we've scheduled 11 trips in March. Of those, two trips weathered-out, and one trip was shortened due to rough seas. That's a success rate of about 77%, which isn't that different from our September and October success rates.

Here are the frequencies and high numbers for the target species in March:

SpeciesFrequencyHigh number
Short-tailed Albatross22%1
Laysan Albatross78%8
Short-tailed Shearwater78%10
Flesh-footed Shearwater33%1
Manx Shearwater22%2
Black-legged Kittiwake100%225
Ancient Murrelet67%33
Rhinoceros Auklet100%500
Horned Puffin22%7

April has more birds overall, as migration starts up. But SHORT-TAILED SHEARWATER is significantly less likely in April as compared to March. Nevertheless, you may want to consider our April 7, 2012 trip as having a good chance for several of the winter specialties, too. Visit The Bird Guide, Inc.'s web page to sign up for this pelagic trip.

1 comment:

  1. We were excited to learn that just 4 days before our trip dozens of Parakeet Auklets were found offshore from Oregon, and over 100 in Washington State. Unfortunately, a storm blew in just 4 hours before we were set to depart. It's been blowing ever since, with no end in sight....