July 26, 1997; Port O’Connor; TRIP REPORT
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!
30 Lebrun Ct.
Galveston, TX 77551
PS: This trip still stands as the Number one trip in terms of both pelagic seabird species seen (11) and the number of pelagic seabird species individuals (310). Since then only 4 other trips have seen 10 pelagic species. Three of those since 2014 when I started organizing Texas Pelagics.
FINAL TRIP LIST :
TOTAL PELAGIC SPECIES – 11
TOTAL PELAGIC SEABIRDS – 310
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
MARINE MAMMAL Sp: –
Atlantic spotted dolphin 6
Bottlenosed dolphin 3
Short-finned pilot whale 84
Mesoplodon sp. Beaked whale 2
unidentified small whale 6
Whale shark 2
Here is a map of the trip track as recorded by ships GPS.
OCEANOGRAPHIC AND WEATHER CONDITIONS:
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