Perth Pelagic April 1997

Subject: Perth Pelagic April 1997
Date: Wed, 9 Apr 1997 8:40:38 +0800

Frank O'Connor (organiser), George Bradd (Canadian visitor), John Brooke,
Margaret Cashman-Bailes, Helen Clark, Michael Craig, Jean Craig, Tom
Delaney, Dennis Heinemann, Graham Little, Dusty Millar, Stuart & Jan Miller,
Glenn Moore, Ray Nojek, Shane Raidal, Phylis Robertson, Jan Rogers, Wladslaw
Sarafin & Stephen, Bruce Wedderburn

Departed Hillarys Boat Harbour at 7.35am - returned at 3.30pm, generally a 1
metre sea on a 0.5 metre swell although choppier the further we went out.
The forecast was for isolated thunderstorms increasing in the afternoon but
fortunately they held off.  The breeze was generally an easterly.  The
forecast maximum of 24C was exceeded with a 28C maximum.

This was the third trip of what will probably become two per year (May &
August/September).  The day started out with promise as we quickly found
some Wedge-tailed and Flesh-footed Shearwaters before we had reached
Rottnest Island.  However, things were disappointing after that.

We went around the back of Rottnest where we saw a few terns, a couple of
gannets and a distant jaeger.  The shearwaters became quite common.  Off
West End we headed for deeper water.  Apart from the shearwaters, there were
distant views of a gannet, a Great Skua, one group of Roseate Terns, a
Wilson's Storm-Petrel and a fairly close Pomarine Jaeger.

As the depth increased we saw our first Great-winged Petrels, and stopped in
approximately 200 metres.  We put out a slick including oil and minced
livers and kidneys.  However only the Flesh-footed Shearwaters were
interested although the GWPs came closer.

We decided to head out for deeper water.  A couple of distant flying fish
were of interest.  We stopped with the depth just over 300 metres.  The
activity was very quiet although Wilson's Storm-Petrels come closer to
inspect the slick.  An unusual sight in the distance were what appeared to
be some martins or swallows flying towards shore.  This was about 40kms out
past Rottnest.

The activity was very quiet so we decided to head back but travel further
south than previous trips.  Soon after moving, a few Fairy Terns were seen,
which again was unexpected this far from land.  We saw more of the same, and
then headed for West End to try to get closer to Wedge-tailed Shearwaters
and jaegers.

As we passed through the reef at Hillarys we had a brief detour to Little
Island.  There were a number of Australian Sea Lions including a male that
climbed to the top of the limestone, plus Pied Cormorants, a few terns and
gulls.  We docked at about 15:30.

It turned out to be a great day for a boat trip, but the list of 4 pelagics
and 4 others plus terns was disappointing, although there were 3 species
(Pomarine Jaeger, Fairy & Roseate Terns) not seen on the previous trips.

Many thanks to the skipper Andrew and the deck hands Pat and Mitch (who
chopped up the fish scraps and prepared the burley).  Thanks also to the
participants who make these trips possible.


07:40 S31 49.5, E115 43.5, 7m (Hillarys)
08:30 S31 58.8, E115 27.5, 30m (off Rottnest)
08:45 S32 00.1, E115 23.6, 56m (off West End)
09:30 S32 00.8, E115 12.4, 228m (stopped for 30 minutes)
10:30 S32 07.0, E115 07.2, 309m (stopped for 40 minutes)
11:40 S32 11.1, E115 09.7, 178m (stopped for 35 minutes)
13:30 S32 02.3, E115 25.7, 31m (off West End for 30 minutes)

BIRD LIST (Christidis & Boles order) :
Great-winged Petrel (8)
Wedge-tailed Shearwater (40)
Flesh-footed Shearwater (300+)
Wilson's Storm-Petrel (10)
Australasian Gannet (8)
Great Skua (2)
Pomarine Jaeger (1)
Arctic Jaeger (1)
Jaeger sp. (8)
Silver Gull (70)
Roseate Tern (4)
Crested Tern (25)
Fairy Tern (5)
Bridled Tern (25)

martin/swallow sp. (6)

Darter (1) harbour
Pied Cormorant (~100) harbour & Little Island
Little Pied Cormorant (2) harbour
Silver Gull (30+) harbour & Little Island
Caspian Tern (5) Little Island
Crested Tern (20) harbour & Little Island
Laughing Turtle-Dove (1) harbour
Australian Magpie (4) harbour
Welcome Swallow (6) harbour & just outside

Humpback Whale (1)
Dolphin sp. (15)
Australian Sea Lion (15) Little Island

The next trip is on Sunday May 25th.  Another trip is also a strong
possibility on Sunday September 14th.  For details contact Frank O'Connor
on the numbers below (08 9386 5694 or 08 9167 1445 after mid May) or email

The expected cost will be $55 if 23 people book.

Frank O'Connor           Argyle Diamonds
8C Hardy Road            PMB 11
Nedlands  WA  6009       West Perth  WA  6872

Phone     +61 9 386 5694      +61 91 671 445
Fax                      +61 91 671 438

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