Port Fairy pelagic

Subject: Port Fairy pelagic
From: "Mike Carter" <>
Date: Thu, 21 Jun 2001 12:38:12 +1000
Geoff Walker pointed out I'd forgotten to mention we saw Cape Petrels. So heres the corrected report.

Port Fairy, VIC, Pelagic Trip Report, 17 June 2001

 Observers: Chris & Rosemary Lester, Rohan Clarke, Geoff Walker, Neil Macumber, Euan Fothergill, Harry Clarke, Laurie O’Connor, Tom Fletcher, Victor Gillatt, Michael O’Keefe (from Ireland) and Mike Carter (leader).

Weather: A large, strong, high-pressure area was centred over western Victoria.

Many scattered light drizzly showers, mostly over the land. Partially cloudy, 6/8 to 2/8, but we experienced mostly sunshine. Cold; c 8* C.

Wind: mostly calm, occasionally 5 Kt SW beyond the shelf.

Sea: Slight on a low swell becoming glassy on a low swell. Thus it was a very gentle trip. Side awnings were not required. One person was sick, briefly.

Activity: Sailed @ 07.35. Headed out SSW @ 13.5 Kts. Encountered little on the way out so we hardly paused. Stopped to berley with shark liver and sliced couta beyond the shelf-break @ a depth of 262 fathoms, (100 fathoms = 180 m), from 10.30 to 11.15. Then moved out 2-3 Nm to 380 fathoms and berleyed from 11.30 to 12.00. Moved further west to 38*50’S 141*45.6’E, (c. 62 km SSW of Port Fairy) and berleyed from 12.30 to 13.05 when we headed in. Cruised W & S shores of Lady Julia Percy Island (LJPI) from 15.05 to 15.35. Docked @ 16.40.

Mammals: A few Common Dolphins and Australian Fur Seals with feeding Gannets about 20 km out. 1,000’s of Seals at LJPI.

Birds: A very quiet day with low abundance. 19 species of seabird identified beyond the river mouth indicated below average diversity but several were distant or seen only briefly. The highlights were an adult Buller’s Albatross and a couple of Common Diving Petrels. The lowlight was the almost total absence of Black-browed Albatross. Unless noted otherwise, most listed below were beyond the shelf break (i.e. pelagic).

Little Penguin: 1 inshore & 1 on LJPI.

Common Diving-Petrel: 2 inshore, one seen fairly well.

Giant Petrel sp?: 1

Cape Petrel: 3 (3).

Great-winged Petrel: 25 (17), 20 macroptera, 5             gouldi.

Slender-billed Prion: 1 inshore.

Fairy Prion: 13 (7), 1 inshore.

Sooty Shearwater: 1.

Fluttering Shearwater: 200 (200) inshore.

Black-browed Albatross: melanophris 1 sub-adult.

No, I haven’t missed off a couple of noughts. We saw just one, the fewest ever. Exactly one year ago we had 430! But that was off Portland where we connected with three trawlers. Today we didn’t see any trawlers but I suspect some were fishing beyond the horizon to our west and that they had attracted most of the albatrosses. We hope to be out again within 2 or 3 weeks. I’ll report again then.                                                

Shy Albatross: cauta 40 (18).

Yellow-nosed Albatross: 6 (1), 3 inshore, 3 offshore.

Buller’s Albatross: 1 adult.

Australasian Gannet: 200 (40), none pelagic. In the a.m.,     they were either fishing or flying to the east in groups     of 4-6. In p.m., they were returning westward                 towards Lawrence Rocks in flocks 2 to 4 times             larger.

Black-faced Cormorant: 1 on LJPI.

Great Skua: 1 distant, inshore.

(Pacific Gull: 1 in Port Fairy.)

Kelp Gull: 10 on LJPI.

Silver Gull: 50 on LJPI & 10 inshore near Port Fairy.

Crested Tern: 36 (15). 1 pelagic, 6 offshore & 29             inshore.


Also on LJPI we had a Brown Falcon, 6 Sooty Oystercatcher & 2 Masked Lapwing.

Mike Carter
30 Canadian Bay Road
Mt Eliza   Vic    3930
03 9787 7136





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