Southport Pelagic 20th April.

To: "Birding-aus" <>
Subject: Southport Pelagic 20th April.
From: "Paul Walbridge" <>
Date: Sun, 21 Apr 2002 11:18:23 +1000
Hi Birding-aussers, interested to see Laurie's comments already put out about the trip and glad to see he wasn't sick this time as I hope to see him on again in the near future. The sea was very 'glassy' and a lot of birds must have been down resting on the surface. We tried out the new 13 metre Cougarcat at last and it seems like a very good vessel, with speed when you need it and a superb, high flying bridge with heaps of space.
The Birds
Providence Petrel - 1
Wedge-tailed Shearwater - 182
Flesh-footed Shearwater - 6
Hutton's Shearwater - 1
Fluttering/Hutton's - 3
Wilson's Storm Petrel - 6
Little Black Cormorant - 1
South Polar Skua - 2 (both Intermediate Phase)
Pomarine Jaeger - 1
Arctic Jaeger - 1
Silver Gull - 202
Crested Tern - 54
Common Tern - 2
Black Noddy - 2
White Tern - 2
There was some conjecture as to how many South Polar Skuas were seen, so I'll clear it up. As the first bird was first picked up in flight at the main drift station it stayed around for a few minutes then seemed to dissappear. As Laurie points out about an hour later he picked it up again on the surface and it was quite apparent it had hung around with the Wedgies. It was almost time to leave and the skipper decided to investigate a a possible long-liner working some distance to the north. As we left, the South Polar had remained behind with the Wedge-tails and was not seen to follow (a bird that size in those conditions would have been pretty hard to miss). The second bird was sighted quite settled on the water a little way to the north some minutes later. Indeed there may have been two birds present all along. Both birds were Intermediate birds not pale phase as reported by Laurie.
The next trip is on 18th May and there are still a few spots available. That's four out of four for Southport so far this year, the weather has been superb, with good patronage, thankyou, I'm sure Birding-aus has had a lot to do with that.
I can be contacted on 07 3391 8839 (H)
                                07 3350 8258 (W)
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