Perth Pelagic - 9th August 1998

Subject: Perth Pelagic - 9th August 1998
From: "Frank O'Connor" <>
Date: Mon, 10 Aug 1998 22:28:42 +0800

Frank O'Connor (organiser), Paul Baker, Jean Craig, Michael Craig, Dave
Crossley, Hazel Darnell, John Darnell, Tom Delaney, Tony Kirkby, Bill
McRoberts, Dave Mitchell, David Newsome, Cameeron Platell, Simon ?, Dave
Quady (US), Shane Raidal, Erica ?, Isabelle Robichaud (Canada), Bruce
Wedderburn, Tom Wheller (NSW)

Departed Hillarys Boat Harbour at 7.10am - returned at 3.20pm. The forecast
was for a 0.8 metre sea on a 3.0 metre swell and easing, but there was
little swell. There was a light north east breeze when we left, which swung
to the north west by the afternoon. The day was fine with a maximum of 22
degrees. The previous Wednesday / Thrusday had seen a storm pass through
with 4 metre plus swells, which promised a good day for seabirding.

A good trip with 9 pelagic species plus Great Skua and Australasian Gannet.
Yellow-nosed Albatross were everywhere, but the quantity of petrels were
surprisingly low.

The day started out with Yellow-nosed Albatross and a few distant
Soft-plumaged Petrels and a probable Hutton's Shearwater seen very early.
Four Galahs were seen by many people flying towards the coast.  As we passed
Rottnest a Black-browed Albatross was seen in the distance.  A few people
also saw a Little Shearwater and some whales.  Then the first group of
Hutton's Shearwaters passed by heading south.  These were regular for most
of the day.

We headed west passing a group of about 50 Silver Gulls scattered on the
surface, shortly followed by groups of Australasian Gannets and Yellow-nosed
Albatross. As the passed 200 metres depth, we started burleying but without
much success.  Our first Great-winged Petrel appeared briefly plus a few
Bottle-nosed Dolphins.

At 400 metres we saw our first Shy Albatross and stopped the boat for 15
minutes.  It circled the boat and landed on the water close by allowing good
photographs to be taken.  A second Shy Albatross also came in, but a
Great-winged Petrel was the only petrel seen.

We moved on seeing a few Soft-plumaged Petrels, more groups of Hutton's
Shearwaters and another Great-winged Petrel.  We changed directions a few
times hoping for a congregation of petrels but without luck.  At about 10:40
we turned around to retrace our wake hoping that the burleying and oil slick
may have attracted the birds.  We stopped again for 40 minutes with the
depth about 540 metres.  We continued burleying and let out an oil slick
which paid some dividends with a couple of White-faced Storm-Petrels coming
in.  Another Shy Albatross was also a highlight.

We headed back in west and turned north for a while, stopping again at about
200 metres.  We stopped for nearly an hour and let out a larger oil slick
and more cut up mulies.  Very little was happening except for Yellow-nosed
Albatross, until a Cape Petrel came in and passed by very close to the
stern.  It stayed around for quite a while fluttering and landing several
times in the slick.  It was joined by a White-faced Storm-Petrel and another
Shy Albatross was also seen plus many groups of Hutton's Shearwaters.

We then headed back close by Rottnest but seeing nothing different.  There
were still a few Yellow-nosed Albatross quite close to the coast.

As we passed through the reef at Hillarys we had a brief detour to Little
Island.  There were two Australian Sea Lions, plus many Pied Cormorants, a
few gulls and terns.  We docked at about 15:20.

Thanks to the skipper Andrew and the deck hand Andrew.


07:10 S31 49.5, E115 43.6, 6m (Hillarys)
08:00 S31 57.7, E115 30.5, 30m (off Rottnest)
08:25 S32 01.2, E115 24.2, 59m (off West End)
08:55 S32 02.8, E115 16.1, 130m
09:40 S32 01.4, E115 10.3, 400m (first stop until 09:55)
10:50 S32 04.2, E115 04.4, 540m (stopped until 11:30)
12:35 S32 00.6, E115 13.3, 194m (stopped until 13:25)

BIRD LIST (Christidis & Boles order) :
Cape Petrel (1)
Great-winged Petrel (5)
Soft-plumaged Petrel (15)
Hutton's Shearwater (300+)
Little Shearwater (1)
Black-browed Albatross (1)
Shy Albatross (4)
Yellow-nosed Albatross (race bassi) (200+)
White-faced Storm-Petrel (3)
Australasian Gannet (80)
Great Skua (10)
Silver Gull (60)
Crested Tern (15)
Fairy Tern (4)
Galah (4)

Little Pied Cormorant (2) harbour
Pied Cormorant (150+) harbour & Little Island
Silver Gull (20+) harbour & Little Island
Caspian Tern (1) Little Island
Crested Tern (6) Little Island
Welcome Swallow (3) harbour & just outside

Whale sp. (3)
Bottle-nosed Dolphin (5)
Australian Sea Lion (2) Little Island

The next trip is on Sunday September 20th 1998.  There are one or two places
still available.  The cost is $65.  The first trip for 1999 is expected to
be early to mid May.

For details contact Frank O'Connor on the numbers below (08 9386 5694) 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
ICQ 14655047                    Fax +61 8 9167 1438
Birding WA

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