28 April

Finally! After a week of slow migration, this day offered a nice variety of species with several seen in large numbers. Northern Shovelers were counted to an impressive 1428 individuals. Lots of shorebirds were also seen, among which more than 20 000 sandpipers (mostly western), 2680 dunlins and 1370 dowitchers. Another surprise was the number of Greater white-fronted Goose (1231 individuals counted) which we had thought were mostly done migrating at this time. As icing on the cake, a few whales was seen well during the day. A pod of five Humpback whales as a first from Boiler Bay for us. Counting time: 05:50-16:50. 37 420 seabirds of 45 species counted. As promised by the forecast, the wind turned from south to northwest during the morning and increased from < 3 m/s (< 7mph) to 8 m/s (18mph). In addition, it was raining almost all the time between 07:30-12:00.

001
Seawatchers
Bird species list:
Greater White-fronted Goose (Anser albifrons) 1231
Brant (Branta bernicla) 52
Gadwall (Anas strepera) 4
American Wigeon (Anas americana) 17
Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) 2
Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata) 1428
Northern Pintail (Anas acuta) 31
Green-winged Teal (Anas carolinensis) 496
Greater Scaup (Aythya marila) 352
Lesser Scaup (Aythya affinis) 8
Scaup sp. 1
Surf Scoter (Melanitta perspicillata) 905
White-winged Scoter (Melanitta deglandi) 43
Red-breasted Merganser (Mergus serrator) 7
Red-throated Loon (Gavia stellata) 91
Pacific Loon (Gavia pacifica) 3535
Common Loon (Gavia immer) 84
Horned Grebe (Podiceps auritus) 1
Red-necked Grebe (Podiceps grisegena) 9
Western Grebe (Aechmophorus occidentalis) 15
Sooty Shearwater (Puffinus griseus) 720
Brandt’s Cormorant (Phalacrocorax penicillatus) 231
Double-crested Cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus) 34
Pelagic Cormorant (Phalacrocorax pelagicus) 41
Brown Pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis) 137
Black Oystercatcher (Haematopus bachmani) 4
Black-bellied Plover (Pluvialis squatarola) 99
Semipalmated Plover (Charadrius semipalmatus) 42
Greater Yellowlegs (Tringa melanoleuca) 43
Whimbrel (Numenius phaeopus) 109
Long-billed Curlew (Numenius americanus) 1
Marbled Godwit (Limosa fedoa) 1
Dunlin (Calidris alpina) 2680
Least Sandpiper (Calidris minutilla) 52
Western/Least Sandpiper 20155
Dowitcher sp. 1370
Common Murre (Uria aalge) 2690
Pigeon Guillemot (Cepphus columba) 51
Marbled Murrulet (Brachyramphus marmoratus) 93
Rhinocerous Auklet (Cerorhinca monocerata) 59
Black-legged Kittiwake (Rissa tridactyla) 1
Bonaparte’s Gull (Chroicocephalus philadelphia) 1
Mew Gull (Larus canus) 1
Western Gull (Larus occidentalis) 308
California Gull (Larus californicus) 65
American Herring Gull (Larus smithsonianus) 1
Glaucous-winged Gull (Larus glaucescens) 33
Caspian Tern (Hydroprogne caspia) 86
Whale species list:
Gray Whale (Eschrichtius robustus) 3
Humpback Whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) 5
Advertisements

27 April

A calm day at Boiler Bay with very little movement over the sea. Small flocks of Western/ Least Sandpiper and Pacific Loons were heading north but other than migration was surely taking a break today. Counting time 05:50-11:20. 6346 seabirds of 27 species counted. Weather was nice with some fog patches in the morning. Wind was slow from southwest < 3 m/s (< 7mph).

008
California sea lion (Zalophus californianus)
Bird species list:
Brant (Branta bernicla) 29
Cackling Goose (Branta hutchinsii) 17
Greater Scaup (Aythya marila) 2
Surf Scoter (Melanitta perspicillata) 158
White-winged Scoter (Melanitta deglandi) 8
Red-breasted Merganser (Mergus serrator) 9
Red-throated Loon (Gavia stellata) 47
Pacific Loon (Gavia pacifica) 409
Common Loon (Gavia immer) 21
Loon sp. 28
Red-necked Grebe (Podiceps grisegena) 2
Western Grebe (Aechmophorus occidentalis) 32
Brandt’s Cormorant (Phalacrocorax penicillatus) 182
Double-crested Cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus) 57
Pelagic Cormorant (Phalacrocorax pelagicus) 48
Brown Pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis) 26
Whimbrel (Numenius phaeopus) 13
Least Sandpiper (Calidris minutilla) 2
Western/Least Sandpiper 1018
Common Murre (Uria aalge) 3960
Pigeon Guillemot (Cepphus columba) 21
Marbled Murrulet (Brachyramphus marmoratus) 49
Rhinocerous Auklet (Cerorhinca monocerata) 11
Mew Gull (Larus canus) 4
Western Gull (Larus occidentalis) 165
California Gull (Larus californicus) 10
American Herring Gull (Larus smithsonianus) 1
Glaucous-winged Gull (Larus glaucescens) 13
Caspian Tern (Hydroprogne caspia) 4
Whale species list:
Gray Whale (Eschrichtius robustus) 5

26 April

This day was the day of the auks! Four species were seen with a Tufted Puffin as the highlight of the day. Marbled Murrelets which usually have been seen in small numbers could be counted with a high of 203 birds heading north. Almost all birds were seen in pairs which probably means that the incubation still hasn’t started. Common Murre and Rhinocerous Auklets were seen in normal numbers and  most of the murre flocks were heading south, probably towards Yaquina Head. Other than the auks, some loons migrating north and a male Harlequin Duck are worth mentioning. Counting time 06:00-11:30. 6602 seabirds of 30 species counted. Weather was compared to most days best in the morning with a beautiful red sun rising in the east. However, the clouds took over fast and we ended up with a continuously raining towards noon. Wind was low from southeast/south,

IMG_2117
Wandering Tattler (Tringa incana)
Bird species list:
Brant (Branta bernicla) 44
Canada Goose (Branta canadensis) 4
Green-winged Teal (Anas carolinensis) 17
Greater Scaup (Aythya marila) 2
Scaup sp. 2
Surf Scoter (Melanitta perspicillata) 289
White-winged Scoter (Melanitta deglandi) 31
Bufflehead (Bucephala albeola) 1
Common Merganser (Mergus merganser) 2
Red-breasted Merganser (Mergus serrator) 2
Red-throated Loon (Gavia stellata) 92
Pacific Loon (Gavia pacifica) 1164
Common Loon (Gavia immer) 18
Loon sp. 110
Horned Grebe (Podiceps auritus) 4
Red-necked Grebe (Podiceps grisegena) 8
Western Grebe (Aechmophorus occidentalis) 21
Sooty Shearwater (Puffinus griseus) 10
Brandt’s Cormorant (Phalacrocorax penicillatus) 225
Double-crested Cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus) 48
Pelagic Cormorant (Phalacrocorax pelagicus) 27
Brown Pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis) 98
Black Oystercatcher (Haematopus bachmani) 1
Western/Least Sandpiper 5
Common Murre (Uria aalge) 3910
Pigeon Guillemot (Cepphus columba) 48
Marbled Murrulet (Brachyramphus marmoratus) 203
Rhinocerous Auklet (Cerorhinca monocerata) 39
Tufted Puffin (Fratercula cirrhata) 1
Western Gull (Larus occidentalis) 150
California Gull (Larus californicus) 10
Glaucous-winged Gull (Larus glaucescens) 11
Caspian Tern (Hydroprogne caspia) 5
Whale species list:
Gray Whale (Eschrichtius robustus) 2

25 April

Less rain than the past days gave a more pleasant stay at the seawatch. However, the migration was weak and we still wait for the peak of loons and shorebirds. Highlights of the day were four Harlequin Duck (three males and one female), several good whale sightings and fairly good numbers of loons. Counting time 06:00-12:00. 5536 seabirds of 33 species counted. Weather: Calm, wind from northwest,

073
Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia) and White-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichia leucophrys), two common companions while watching migration in Boiler Bay.
Bird species list:
Brant (Branta bernicla) 68
Greater Scaup (Aythya marila) 7
Scaup sp. 1
Harlequin Duck (Histrionicus histrionicus) 4
Surf Scoter (Melanitta perspicillata) 230
White-winged Scoter (Melanitta deglandi) 7
Black Scoter (Melanitta americana) 1
Red-breasted Merganser (Mergus serrator) 6
Red-throated Loon (Gavia stellata) 170
Pacific Loon (Gavia pacifica) 2304
Common Loon (Gavia immer) 37
Loon sp. 14
Red-necked Grebe (Podiceps grisegena) 7
Western Grebe (Aechmophorus occidentalis) 20
Sooty Shearwater (Puffinus griseus) 5
Brandt’s Cormorant (Phalacrocorax penicillatus) 85
Double-crested Cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus) 55
Pelagic Cormorant (Phalacrocorax pelagicus) 64
Brown Pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis) 55
Semipalmated Plover (Charadrius semipalmatus) 8
Whimbrel (Numenius phaeopus) 1
Dunlin (Calidris alpina) 8
Western Sandpiper (Calidris mauri) 2
Western/Least Sandpiper 1060
Calidris sp. 40
Common Murre (Uria aalge) 960
Pigeon Guillemot (Cepphus columba) 21
Marbled Murrulet (Brachyramphus marmoratus) 8
Rhinocerous Auklet (Cerorhinca monocerata) 39
Black-legged Kittiwake (Rissa tridactyla) 1
Mew Gull (Larus canus) 2
Ring-billed Gull (Larus delawarensis) 8
Western Gull (Larus occidentalis) 143
California Gull (Larus californicus) 19
American Herring Gull (Larus smithsonianus) 2
Glaucous-winged Gull (Larus glaucescens) 18
Caspian Tern (Hydroprogne caspia) 56
Whale species list:
Gray Whale (Eschrichtius robustus) 7
Harbour Porpoise (Phocoena phocoena) 1
Dolphin sp. 3

24 April

A rainy day at Boiler Bay made seawatching difficult and a lot of time was spent under the cover of umbrellas. The high effort was rewarded by the highest number of Sooty Shearwaters so far and fairly good numbers of loons. Apart from those, movement of migrating birds was low. Counting time: 06:00-11:00. 12832 seabirds of 33 species counted. Weather was cloudy with lots of showers during the morning. Wind moderate from south, southwest, 7 m/s (15mph).

040
Common Murre (Uria aalge) and Pacific Loon (Gavia pacifica)
Bird species list:
Greater White-fronted Goose (Anser albifrons) 11
Brant (Branta bernicla) 168
Cackling Goose (Branta hutchinsii) 62
Northern Pintail (Anas acuta) 6
Green-winged Teal (Anas carolinensis) 8
Greater Scaup (Aythya marila) 30
Surf Scoter (Melanitta perspicillata) 524
White-winged Scoter (Melanitta deglandi) 36
Red-breasted Merganser (Mergus serrator) 8
Red-throated Loon (Gavia stellata) 118
Pacific Loon (Gavia pacifica) 6451
Common Loon (Gavia immer) 53
Loon sp. 134
Red-necked Grebe (Podiceps grisegena) 10
Western Grebe (Aechmophorus occidentalis) 1
Sooty Shearwater (Puffinus griseus) 1122
Brandt’s Cormorant (Phalacrocorax penicillatus) 57
Double-crested Cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus) 7
Pelagic Cormorant (Phalacrocorax pelagicus) 84
Brown Pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis) 2
Black-bellied Plover (Pluvialis squatarola) 1
Semipalmated Plover (Charadrius semipalmatus) 6
Whimbrel (Numenius phaeopus) 10
Western/Least Sandpiper 750
Dowitcher sp. 135
Common Murre (Uria aalge) 2770
Pigeon Guillemot (Cepphus columba) 27
Rhinocerous Auklet (Cerorhinca monocerata) 13
Bonaparte’s Gull (Chroicocephalus philadelphia) 3
Mew Gull (Larus canus) 3
Ring-billed Gull (Larus delawarensis) 1
Western Gull (Larus occidentalis) 99
California Gull (Larus californicus) 29
American Herring Gull (Larus smithsonianus) 2
Glaucous-winged Gull (Larus glaucescens) 18
Caspian Tern (Hydroprogne caspia) 73
Whale species list:
None

23 April

You get spoiled quickly in Boiler Bay. Another day of poor migration today compared to the days before yesterday. To boost morale and escape the rain for a while, a pause was done in the sea watching in order to go to nearby Depoe Bay for a coffee. We can’t help but feel like this is the calm before the storm, maybe the pressure is building up for some massive migration in the days ahead. Counting time 06:00 – 08:00 and again 09:10 – 11:10. 3774 seabirds of 31 species counted. Weather consisted of showers and overcast skies with winds from the south, about 3 m/s (7mph).

005
Western Grebe (Aechmophorus occidentalis)
Bird species list:
Greater White-fronted Goose (Anser albifrons) 140
Brant (Branta bernicla) 131
Cackling Goose (Branta hutchinsii) 102
Green-winged Teal (Anas carolinensis) 10
Greater Scaup (Aythya marila) 1
Surf Scoter (Melanitta perspicillata) 499
White-winged Scoter (Melanitta deglandi) 23
Black Scoter (Melanitta americana) 3
Red-breasted Merganser (Mergus serrator) 2
Red-throated Loon (Gavia stellata) 324
Pacific Loon (Gavia pacifica) 518
Common Loon (Gavia immer) 20
Loon sp. 217
Red-necked Grebe (Podiceps grisegena) 13
Western Grebe (Aechmophorus occidentalis) 6
Brandt’s Cormorant (Phalacrocorax penicillatus) 139
Double-crested Cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus) 39
Pelagic Cormorant (Phalacrocorax pelagicus) 90
Brown Pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis) 21
Whimbrel (Numenius phaeopus) 11
Dunlin (Calidris alpina) 2
Western/Least Sandpiper 450
Common Murre (Uria aalge) 670
Pigeon Guillemot (Cepphus columba) 65
Marbled Murrulet (Brachyramphus marmoratus) 30
Rhinocerous Auklet (Cerorhinca monocerata) 16
Bonaparte’s Gull (Chroicocephalus philadelphia) 6
Mew Gull (Larus canus) 3
Western Gull (Larus occidentalis) 116
California Gull (Larus californicus) 56
American Herring Gull (Larus smithsonianus) 4
Glaucous-winged Gull (Larus glaucescens) 31
Caspian Tern (Hydroprogne caspia) 16
Whale species list:
Gray Whale (Eschrichtius robustus) 3
Harbour Porpoise (Phocoena phocoena) 1

22 April

Today was the first day since we came here that felt kind of slow. Generally, migration went further away from the coast today than before. Pacific loons did a push in the morning and again before lunch, however only in moderate numbers. Migrating Bonaparte’s gulls were seen during most of the time but in lower numbers than yesterday. Counting time: 06:00-12:00. 42 species of seabird counted. Winds from the north during the morning, around 5 m/s (11mph) brought a few showers. Around noon, as most days, the wind increased and the clouds dispersed.

015
Incoming bad weather
Bird species list:
Greater White-fronted Goose (Anser albifrons) 33
Brant (Branta bernicla) 56
Cackling Goose (Branta hutchinsii) 691
American Wigeon (Anas americana) 1
Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) 1
Green-winged Teal (Anas carolinensis) 5
Greater Scaup (Aythya marila) 7
Surf Scoter (Melanitta perspicillata) 363
White-winged Scoter (Melanitta deglandi) 12
Black Scoter (Melanitta americana) 2
Red-breasted Merganser (Mergus serrator) 3
Red-throated Loon (Gavia stellata) 393
Pacific Loon (Gavia pacifica) 5154
Common Loon (Gavia immer) 177
Loon sp. 130
Red-necked Grebe (Podiceps grisegena) 19
Western Grebe (Aechmophorus occidentalis) 19
Sooty Shearwater (Puffinus griseus) 1
Brandt’s Cormorant (Phalacrocorax penicillatus) 231
Double-crested Cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus) 157
Pelagic Cormorant (Phalacrocorax pelagicus) 121
Brown Pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis) 30
Black-bellied Plover (Pluvialis squatarola) 28
Semipalmated Plover (Charadrius semipalmatus) 6
Whimbrel (Numenius phaeopus) 3
Dunlin (Calidris alpina) 127
Western Sandpiper (Calidris mauri) 90
Western/Least Sandpiper 470
Dowitcher sp. 68
Common Murre (Uria aalge) 1960
Pigeon Guillemot (Cepphus columba) 46
Marbled Murrulet (Brachyramphus marmoratus) 20
Rhinocerous Auklet (Cerorhinca monocerata) 4
Black-legged Kittiwake (Rissa tridactyla) 2
Bonaparte’s Gull (Chroicocephalus philadelphia) 797
Western Gull (Larus occidentalis) 290
California Gull (Larus californicus) 319
American Herring Gull (Larus smithsonianus) 13
Glaucous-winged Gull (Larus glaucescens) 47
Caspian Tern (Hydroprogne caspia) 114
Whale species list:
Harbour Porpoise (Phocoena phocoena)  5