Perth Pelagic - 28th June 1998

Subject: Perth Pelagic - 28th June 1998
From: "Frank O'Connor" <>
Date: Sun, 28 Jun 1998 20:04:38 +0800

Frank O'Connor (organiser), Marjory Clegg, Jean Craig, Dave Crossley, Jan
Crossley, John Darnell, Christine Halais, Tony Kirkby, Roger McGovern, Dusty
Millar, Dave Mitchell, Glenn Moore, Ray Nojek, Ian Standring, Nigel
Sutherland, Liz Walker

Departed Hillarys Boat Harbour at 7.05am - returned at 3.20pm. The forecast
was for a 1.6 metre sea on a 2.0 metre swell and easing. It was calm when we
left, although there was a light breeze further out which swung to the south
by the afternoon making it cooler. The day was fine although mostly cloudy
with a maximum of 16 degrees (although the morning minimum had been 3!). The
previous three days had seen weak cold fronts passing through with
accompanied squalls. A very promising day for seabirding.

The best trip from Hillarys yet with 9 pelagic species plus Great Skua and
Australasian Gannet.

The day started out slowly as usual with very little seen until after
Rottnest except for a few Australasian Gannets. A few garfish were seen
jumping just as we saw our first Yellow-nosed Albatross. A couple of whales
were spotted by a few people in the distance. After Rottnest we headed west
for deeper water until we found our first few petrels.

As the depth passed 300 metres we found more Yellow-nosed Albatross, and the
first of the Soft-plumaged Petrels that were common throughout the day. A
few Great-winged Petrels passed through before the excitement started with
several Cape Petrels, one Southern-Giant-Petrel and a few Wilson's
Storm-Petrels.  A Great Skua came in briefly.  There were not large numbers
of birds, but the range of species was the best seen yet.

We continued west to the greatest depth so far for these trips of about 680
metres.  However, it was fairly quiet so we started to head back in.  A
Little Shearwater caused a very brief excitement as it quickly passed by,
plus a few people saw the first Kerguelen Petrel.

As we came closer in, there was excitement as a probable prion was spotted.
We stopped and Roger used the last of our fish oil and fish scraps.  The
next hour was the best of any trip we have had from Perth.  Apart from the
large numbers of Soft-plumaged Petrels, there were some more Cape and
Great-winged Petrels.  Then the Fairy Prion was spotted again, and it came
in close to the boat a few times.  A Kerguelen Petrel also flew around for a

We headed back slightly early seeing only a few birds plus a couple of
Humpback Whales briefly.

As we passed through the reef at Hillarys we had a brief detour to Little
Island.  There was an Australian Sea Lion, plus Pied Cormorants, a few
gulls.  We docked at about 15:20.

Many thanks to the skipper Andrew and the deck hand Dan, and very special
thanks to Roger McGovern who supervised the chumming.


07:05 S31 49.6, E115 44.3, 8m (just outside Hillarys)
08:05 S31 58.8, E115 29.8, 25m (off Rottnest)
08:25 S32 00.4, E115 25.1, 46m (off West End)
09:00 S32 02.2, E115 15.4, 145m
09:35 S32 04.0, E115 08.8, 350m (first stop until 10:30)
11:00 S32 04.7, E115 03.2, 600m
11:10 S32 04.7, E115 01.7, 680m (stopped until 11:45)
12:35 S31 59.9, E115 12.0, 360m (stopped until 13:30)

BIRD LIST (Christidis & Boles order) :
Southern Giant-Petrel (3)
Cape Petrel (8+)
Kerguelen Petrel (2)
Great-winged Petrel (9+)
Soft-plumaged Petrel (62+)
Fairy Prion (1)
Little Shearwater (1)
Yellow-nosed Albatross (race bassi) (61+)
Wilson's Storm-Petrel (5)
Australasian Gannet (10)
Pied Cormorant (2)
Great Skua (3)
Silver Gull (5)
Crested Tern (8)

Little Pied Cormorant (2) harbour
Pied Cormorant (50+) harbour & Little Island
Silver Gull (10+) harbour & Little Island
Caspian Tern (5) Little Island
Crested Tern (10+) Little Island
Welcome Swallow (3) harbour & just outside

Humpback Whale (5 probable)
Dolphin sp. (1)
Australian Sea Lion (1) Little Island

The next trips are on Sunday August 9th and September 20th 1998.  There are
about 6 places still available on each trip.  The cost is likely to be $65
depending on numbers.

For details contact Frank O'Connor on the numbers below (08 9386 5694 or 08
9482 1175) or email  or

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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