Aug 20, 1994; Port O’Connor; TRIP REPORT
Aboard the Chip XI
Report Transcribed from 1995 Texas Deepwater Pelagic Trips Newsletter
Copyrighted By: Dwight Peake and Mark Elwonger
Storm Petrels Again in August
High pressure over the Gulf made for windy and rough 3-5 foot seas but this did little to discourage 30 determined pelagic birders on August 20. The first Leach’s Storm-Petrels showed up at almost precisely the same time as last time: 10:30AM. For the next hour, as the Chip XI passed over a bottom irregularity known as “The Hump”, 9 storm-petrels were spotted, offering good looks at both Band-rumped and Leach’s. The advantage of a fast boat like the Chip XI is that it can keep up with these swift, erratic wave-huggers.
An excursion into deeper water 100+ miles out proved to be less productive than the Hump, so we returned and encountered an additional two Leach’s in nearly the same area as the Band-rumps were seen 2.5 hours earlier.
Then, an hour after returning to the shelf, the first of three Cory’s Shearwaters appeared, accompanied by a pod of Pantropical Spotted Dolphins. Checking several production platforms, we inspired an immature Masked Booby to fly directly over the boat!
FINAL TRIP LIST :
TOTAL PELAGIC SPECIES – 4
TOTAL PELAGIC SEABIRDS – 15
Cory’s Shearwater – 3
Leach’s Storm-Petrel – 7
Band-rumped Storm-Petrel – 4
Masked Booby – 1 imm
MARINE MAMMAL Sp:
Pantropical Spotted Dolphin
Map of the trip track is unavailable.
OCEANOGRAPHIC AND WEATHER CONDITIONS:
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