Perth Pelagic Trip July 20th 1997

Subject: Perth Pelagic Trip July 20th 1997
From: "Frank O'Connor" <>
Date: Tue, 22 Jul 1997 23:52:52 +0800

Frank O'Connor (organiser), Sue Abbotts, Tanya Butler, Ben Carr,
Helen Clark, Michael Craig, John & Hazel Darnell, Tom Delaney,
Robert Davis, Tony Kirkby, Graham Little, Bill McAfee, Dusty Millar,
Stuart Miller, Glenn Moore, Clive Nealon, David Newsome, Cameron
Platell, Phylis Robertson, Wladslaw Sarafin, Ian Standring, Patricia

Departed Hillarys Boat Harbour at 7.55am - returned at 4.05pm, generally a
0.8 metre sea on a 2.5 metre swell. The day was fine with a forecast maximum
of 21 degrees and light winds. An excellent day for this time of year.

The day started out slowly with little seen before Rottnest except for a
few Australasian Gannets and the first of many Great Skuas.

We went around the back of Rottnest where we stopped for a good view of a
Southern Giant-Petrel. The first Yellow-nosed Albatross was seen.  A semi
distant Wilson's Storm-Petrel was the only storm petrel seen for the day.

As the depth increased the number of Yellow-nosed Albatross increased, and
a few individual Little Shearwaters flew quickly past. We stopped the boat
when we started to see our first petrels. The depth was about 240 metres.

There were about 30 YNAs, and we were surprised by the number of Australasian
Gannets and Crested Terns that far from shore.  A few Great-winged Petrels
and Soft-plumaged Petrels flew past giving good looks.

After 45 minutes we moved on, stopping briefly for a raft of about 25 birds
which included about 10 gannets with one being harassed by a Great Skua.

We headed out to a depth of 450 metres where there were more petrels and
about 60 YNAs came into the boat. Finally, a Black-browed Albatross came in
but it was the only one for the day. The highlight of the day was a YNA of
the nominate race 'chlororhynchos'.  It was a full adult with pale grey
back of the neck and a darker eye brow.  Some good photos were hopefully
taken when it was close to the boat.  This is believed to be one of only a
few Australian records of this race which is normally found in the Atlantic.

We headed south and slightly inshore, but the birds started to dry up with
mainly only YNAs being seen.  A submarine provided some interest.  We then
headed back, stopping for a short while near the west end of Rottnest where
we saw a school of Bottle-nosed Dolphins and a few Humpback Whales.

As we passed through the reef at Hillarys we had a brief detour to Little
Island.  There were a number of Australian Sea Lions, plus Pied Cormorants,
a few terns and gulls.  We docked at about 16:05.

I tried a burley mixture of minced livers, kidneys, bread crumbs and fish oil
but it didn't seem to have any great effect. A trial of popcorn mixed into
the fish scraps didn't seem to help much either. I think that we will simply
revert to fish scraps, fish oil, and pollard / breadcrumbs.

Many thanks to the skipper Andrew and the deck hand Nicky.  Thanks also to
the participants who make these trips possible.


07:55 S31 49.7, E115 42.9, 7m (just outside Hillarys)
08:50 S31 58.7, E115 27.8, 30m (off Rottnest)
09:55 S32 02.9, E115 11.3, 240m (stopped for 45 minutes)
11:05 S32 06.2, E115 04.8, 450m (stopped for 40 minutes)
12:15 S32 13.4, E115 03.9, 335m (turned around)

BIRD LIST (Christidis & Boles order) :
Southern Giant-Petrel (1)
Great-winged Petrel (11)
Soft-plumaged Petrel (12)
Little Shearwater (3 while moving)
Black-browed Albatross (1 immature)
Yellow-nosed Albatross (race bassi) (200+)
Yellow-nosed Albatross (race chlororhynchos) (1)
Wilson's Storm-Petrel (1 while moving)
Australasian Gannet (40+)
Pied Cormorant (5)
Great Skua (14)
Silver Gull (30)
Crested Tern (25)

Darter (1) harbour
Little Pied Cormorant (2) harbour
Pied Cormorant (~100) harbour & Little Island
Little Black Cormorant (4) harbour
Silver Gull (50+) harbour & Little Island
Caspian Tern (1) Little Island
Crested Tern (10) harbour & Little Island
Welcome Swallow (3) harbour & just outside

Humpback Whale (3 or 4)
Bottle-nosed Dolphin (10-15)
Australian Sea Lion (3) Little Island

The next trip is on Sunday September 14th but it has already been
fully booked.  Further trips are planned in 1998 from May to September.
For details contact Frank O'Connor on the numbers below (08 9386 5694
or 08 9167 1445) or email  or

The expected cost will be $60 depending on how many people book.

I am planning to go to Cape Naturaliste with a Victorian birder for the
day on Saturday 20th September.  Other people are welcome.

Frank O'Connor                  Argyle Diamonds
8C Hardy Road                   PMB 11
Nedlands  WA  6009              West Perth  WA  6872
Phone   +61 8 9386 5694         +61 8 9167 1445
Fax                             +61 8 9167 1438
Birding WA

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