Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Scripps's Murrelet

Scripps's Murrelet
Scripps's Murrelet. 20 miles off Newport, Oregon, September 15, 2012.

This past weekend our pelagic trip enjoyed calm seas. The trip generally had low numbers of birds and was mostly unremarkable until... we were able to circle the boat around a pair of these rare birds.

Just this past August the A.O.U. split this murrelet that breeds off southern California from those breeding off Baja. (See the previous post Scripps's and Guadalupe Murrelet.)

This bird is no longer on the Review list of Oregon rare birds. It was removed in 2010. Nevertheless, it is hard to find since it usually stays far offshore. We've seen this species on about 15% of trips, July-October. We would see it far more often if the seas were as smooth as last weekend, but that is usually not the case.

From a show of hands at the time, this was a life bird for nearly all on board except the guides!

You may be interested in our trip report from last weekend.

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