Have just returned from a three-week trip aboard a vessel that sailed west
from Portland Vic. to approx. 40 degrees South, level with Albany WA, then
back across the Great Aust. Bight, down the West coast of Tasmania and into
Hobart. Weather varied from calm seas with no wind to rough seas on a 10 m
swell with winds peaking at 75 knots.
Some excellent pelagic birding was to be had. Highlights being (in no
-Little Shearwater: one off Kangaroo Island SA on the 11/8
-Kerguelan Petrel: 3 on the 30/7 in Vic waters off Portland.
-Blue Petrel: 60 on the 31/7 in SA waters 100 miles off Port McDonald then
daily in smaller numbers till Hobart.
-Southern Fulmar: one off western Tas on 15/8
-Soft-plumaged Petrel: one off Port McDonald SA on 12/8
-Grey Petrel 2 on the 31/7 in SA waters 100 miles off Port McDonald then
daily in ones and twos till Hobart. Maximum count of 8 (4) on 17/8 50 miles
off the SW corner of Tas.
-Light-mantled Sooty Albatross: daily in SA, Vic and Tas waters, mostly ones
and twos but max of 10 together on 13/8 in deep waters off SA.
-Sooty Albatross: daily in Vic and SA waters and international waters off
WA. Maximum count 3 together.
-Grey-headed Albatross: Daily with maximum count of 50 together off SW Tas.
-Royal Albatross (Northern race): Almost daily with maximum of 3 off SW Tas.
-Royal Albatross (Southern race): Daily with maximum of 8 off SW Tas.
Other species seen were Wandering Albatross, Black-browed Albatross
(impavida and nom.), Yellow-nosed Albatross (bassi only), Shy Albatross
(cauta and salvin's), Great winged Petrel (gouldii and nom.), White-headed
Petrel, Northern And Southern Giant Petrels (inc 2 white phase southerns),
Cape Petrel, Fairy Prion, Slender-billed Prion, Antarctic/Salvins Prion,
Wilson's Storm-petrel, Grey-backed Storm-petrel, Southern Skua,
White-fronted Tern, Crested Tern, Aust Gannet.
Mammals: Southern Right-whale dolphin, Sperm Whale, Long-finned Pilot whale,