PORT O’CONNOR PELAGIC TRIP REPORT IV – September 24, 1994

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

Offshore Outing Does Good Terns

The  forecast was for 3-ft seas as a full load of birders met at Clark’s Marina at  4AM on Sept. 24. As the Chip XI neared the continental shelf towards mid-morning, the winds died and seas levelled to under two feet, providing great viewing opportunities for the storm-petrels which are adept at evading detection in the wave troughs.

A  juvenile Masked Booby sought our company for nearly an hour as we approached   the shelf. Unlike the last two trips, sargassum weed-lines were evident at   regular intervals both on and off the shelf. As a result, we began to   encounter Bridled Terns and later, a large flock of Sooty Terns which finally offered a close approach to nail down their identifying field-marks. Not easy to distinguish from Bridled Terns for those with little experience with either!

Also  flushed from a weed-line was a single Red-necked Phalarope, and a pod of shy   dolphins were believed to be Clymene. This time, the Cory’s and Audubon’s Shearwaters were found in deeper water instead of on the shelf. The force of   the norther’ that blew through on Thursday must explain why an exhausted Savannah Sparrow evidently overshot the coast and sought to hitch a ride back  to shore. An American Coot was also noted far out from shore.

Reluctantly, we returned to Clark’s under a night sky clouded only by the Milky Way and punctuated with falling stars.

Species Seen:

Cory’s Shearwater – 3

Audubon’s Shearwater – 7

Leach’s Storm-Petrel – 1

Band-rumped Storm-Petrel – 6

Masked Booby – 1

Bridled Tern – 20

Sooty Tern – 20

Savannah Sparrow – 1

American Coot – 1

 

GOOGLE MAP OF PELGAGIC TRIP COURSE COORDINATES

View 1994 + 1995 Texas Pelagics Tracks in a larger map

Click on the box in the upper left of the map to view the map legend.

Click on each Pelagic Course and the data label will appear with the date of the trip.

OCEANOGRAPHIC CONDITIONS:

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