The Westport, Washington & Monterey, California Pelagic Trips:
Birds that can be expected:
Black-footed Albatross; Northern Fulmar; Pink-footed, Buller's and Sooty Shearwaters; Fork-tailed Storm-Petrel (out of Washington State); Black, and Ashy Storm-Petrels (out of Monterey, California, often in numbers), also Wilson's and Least Storm-Petrels (out of Monterey, California); Red-necked and Red Phalaropes; 3 species of Jaegers: Pomarine, Parasitic, and Long-tailed; South Polar Skua; various gulls, including: Heermann's, California, Western, and Glaucous-winged; the Sabine's Gull (sometimes incredibly common); Black-legged Kittiwake (Washington State); Arctic Tern; Common Murre; Pigeon Guillemot; Cassin's and Rhinoceros Auklets; Tufted Puffin; plus inshore species, migrants, and casuals.
Laysan Albatross (seen once
during a FONT West Coast tour, out of Westport, Washington, in 1999)
Flesh-footed Shearwater (seen during 4 FONT West Coast tours)
Short-tailed Shearwater (seen during 7 FONT West Coast tours)
Black-vented Shearwater (seen during 4 FONT West Coast tours, out of Monterey, California)
Leach's Storm Petrel (seen during 1 FONT West Coast tour, out of Westport, Washington)
Xantus' Murrelet (seen during 5 FONT West Coast tours, 1 of them out of Washington State)
and Craveri's Murrelet (seen during 3 FONT West Coast tours, out of Monterey, California).
And during one of our tours, in 1995, it was certainly a thrill when a Red-tailed Tropicbird appeared!
Other marine life possible:
Dall's Porpoise (seen numerous
Common Dolphin (seen numerous times),
Pacific White-sided Dolphin (5 out of 10 tours),
Northern Right Whale Dolphin (3 out of 10 tours),
Risso's Dolphin, or Gray Grampus,
Killer Whales, or Orcas (during our tours in 1991, 1995, & 2004 out of Washington State, either offshore or in the waters of the Puget Sound),
Short-finned Pilot Whale,
Baird's Beaked Whale (seen during a number of our tours, and as recently as in 2005 out of Monterey, California)
Great Sperm Whale,
Humpback Whale (seen numerous times, and as recently as in 2005 out of Monterey, California),
Northern Minke Whale,
and the largest of the world's creatures, the Blue Whale (seen during 3 FONT West Coast Tours).
Unusual were 2 Gray Whales seen during our 1992 tour, offshore from California.
Fall is the best season for marine mammals.
Blue Whale, off Monterey, California.
(Photograph by Armas Hill.)
Other marine life during FONT September West Coast USA Tours has included:
Steller's Sea Lion (in Washington State)
Northern Fur Seal (in Washington State & California)
Harbor Seal (in Washington State & California, during every tour)
Northern Elephant Seal (in California)
And the following (all off California):
Leatherback Sea Turtle