PORT O’CONNOR PELAGIC July 26, 1997

Aboard   the Chip XI
Subject: July 26 Pelagic   trip report

From:   Dwight Peake

July   26th Trip Report

The   July 26 Port O Connor pelagic trip went well. We were blessed with seas less   than 2 feet and no white caps all day except for a short period around a   small rainstorm. Deep blue colored water was at least 15 nm shoreward of the   Continental Shelf suggesting the effect of a warm core eddy, but the large   mats of sargassum present on June 28 could not be located. Once we entered   the blue water we had bird or mammal sightings about every 10-15 minutes   until we crossed back over the shelf edge around 5 pm.

We had   2 open spaces, but those who participated in this trip seemed to enjoy   themselves. Spaces remain for the August 23 and September 20 trips. Please   contact me ASAP if you would like to go on either of those trips. Forty   percent of these Port O Connor trips have produced significant state rarities   (in addition to the state review species- Band-rumped Storm-Petrel, Leach’s   Storm-Petrel, Audubon s Shearwater, and Bridled Tern- which are common and   are seen on most trips). Where else can one spend a day of birding and have a  40% chance of seeing such rarities and see so many other neat things!

As you   may have heard me state before, June and July may be slow times for land   birding in our area, but the summer is a great time for pelagic birding!

Trip list

Pelagic Birds

1)   Black-capped Petrel 1 (diagnostic video obtained)

2)   Magnificent Frigatebird 3

3)   Cory s Shearwater 2

4)   Greater Shearwater 1 (photos hopefully obtained of bird 30-40 feet from boat)

5)   Audubon s Shearwater 16

6)   Band-rumped Storm-Petrel 43 (yes, 43!)

7)   Leach s Storm-Petrel 2

–   unidentified storm-petrel 2 (probable BRSP)

8)   Pomarine Jaeger 3 (one light phase immature taking chum within 20 feet of   boat)

9)   Arctic Tern 1 (good video. bird consistent with 1st summer, second calendar   year plumage. Feeding in flock of 100 Sooty Terns, Audubon s and Cory s,   Pomarine Jaeger, and Black-capped Petrel over tuna school. If accepted by the   TXBRC, and the McNary Res. June record is accepted, it will be the second   state record)

10)   Bridled Tern 3

11)   Sooty Tern 231

–   Bridled vs. Sooty Tern 2

Other fauna

Atlantic   spotted dolphin 6

Bottlenosed   dolphin 3

Short-finned   pilot whale 84

Mesoplodon   sp. Beaked whale 2

unidentified   small whale 6

Whale   shark 2

Mola-mola   1

Dwight   Peake

30   Lebrun Ct.

Galveston,   TX 77551

OCEANOGRAPHIC CONDITIONS for July 26, 1997

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