PORT O’CONNOR PELAGIC TRIP REPORT II – July 23, 1994

Aboard   the Chip XI
Report Transcribed from   1995 Texas Deepwater Pelagic Trips NewsletterCopyrighted   By: Dwight Peake and Mark Elwonger

Sooty Shearwater Recorded   on July Pelagic Trip

Seas   were rougher than usual as the Chip XI passed through the Big Jetties at   5:00am. But participants quickly regained their equilibrium when the first   Leach’s Storm-Petrels appeared around 10:30.

We   were given quick looks of Atlantic Spotted Dolphins before the next mixed   flock of four storm-petrels showed up, these contained both Band-rumped and   Leach’s. At one point we could see the distinctive black smear down the   center of the rump of the Leach’s. The advantage of a fast boat like the Chip   XI is that it can keep up with these swift, erratic wave-huggers, and give   everyone pretty good looks.

We  kept our radio headsets out of the spray on this trip, as most of the   participants stayed on “yellow alert” to make maximum use of our   six hours in deep water.

Then,  in mid-afternoon, a medium-sized dark shearwater materialized just 60 yards   to port! As it wheeled and zigged just barely above wavetops, we noted its   all-dark underneath with silvery pale wing-linings. A Sooty! For only the   third live record for the Texas Records Committee!

We   ended the day with a total of five Leach’s Storm-Petrels, ten identifiable   Band-rumped Storm-Petrels, four storm-petrel species, the single Sooty   Shearwater, a dark-backed sterna, Atlantic Spotted Dolphins and a possible   sperm-whale breach.

Species Seen:

Sooty   Shearwater – 1

Leach’s   Storm-Petrel – 5

Band-rumped   Storm-Petrel – 10

storm-petrel   (sp) – 4

dark-backed   Sterna tern -1

 

Mammals Seen:

Atlantic   Spotted Dolphins

Sperm   Whale – ?

OCEANOGRAPHIC CONDITIONS:

seasurface_19940723

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