Port Fairy pelagic 3 March

Subject: Port Fairy pelagic 3 March
From: "Mike Carter" <>
Date: Mon, 4 Mar 2002 18:27:13 +1100

Observers: Rohan Clarke, Harry Clarke, Chris & Rosemary Lester, Geoff Walker, Tania Ireton, Andrew Silcocks, Ray Schulz, Dave Webb, Sean Dooley, Adrian Boyle and Mike Carter (leader).

Weather: A high-pressure ridge extended into western Bass Strait. Drizzle periods and occasional squalls but after an overcast dull start, mainly sunny. Cool. Wind: 5–15 Kt S.

Sea: Rough at first, moderate later. 2-3 m waves on a 3-4 m swell was the legacy of strong winds preceding our trip. Thus it was a bumpy ride out with lots of spray. Two people were sick and others queasy.

Activity: Sailed @ 07.20. Headed out SSW @ 13 Kts. Our first berley stop was 15 Nm (28 km) offshore where Gannets, Crested Terns, Albatrosses, Shearwaters, Bottle-nosed Dolphins and Seals were feeding on a fish shoals. Berleyed with shark liver at three locations beyond the shelf-break from 10.30 to 13.10. Cruised along the western and southern shores of Lady Julia Percy Island (LJPI) when coming in. Docked at 16.20.

Mammals: Bottle-nosed Dolphins (c. 25) and Australian Fur Seals, (1,000’s at LJPI).

Birds: 25 species of seabird identified beyond the river mouth indicated good diversity. The several highlights are emphasized in bold type. Unless noted otherwise, most listed below were near or beyond the shelf break (i.e. pelagic).

Little Penguin: 5 on LJPI.

Common Diving-Petrel: 1 offshore.

Great-winged Petrel: 6 (4). Both macroptera and gouldi seen.

White-headed Petrel: 3 (2).

Fairy Prion: 7 (2), 4 offshore.

White-chinned Petrel: 1.

Flesh-footed Shearwater: 10, 4 offshore.

Sooty Shearwater: 1 offshore.

Short-tailed Shearwater: 200 (50), 100 inshore, 50 offshore & 50 pelagic.

Fluttering Shearwater: 3 inshore.

Wandering Albatross: 3 exulans, 2 -stage 1, & 1 stage 2.

Black-browed Albatross: melanophris 18 mostly adults offshore, only 6 pelagic

 (none colour dyed), impavida 12 mostly adults, all pelagic.

Shy Albatross: cauta 20 (6).  10 offshore.

Yellow-nosed Albatross: 90 (50). 20 offshore, 5 inshore (mostly adults).

Buller’s Albatross: 1.

Sooty Albatross: 1.

Wilson’s Storm-Petrel: 16 (5). 7offshore & 1 inshore.

Grey-backed Storm-Petrel: 7 (3). 2 offshore.

White-faced Storm-Petrel: 35 (20). 13 offshore.

Australasian Gannet: 120 (30), only 1 pelagic.

Black-faced Cormorant: 7, 6 on LJPI & 1 inshore.

Long-tailed Jaeger: 2 (1).

Kelp Gull: 6 on LJPI.

Silver Gull: c.50 on LJPI & 3 inshore near Port Fairy.

Crested Tern: 33 only 3 pelagic.

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

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