Port Fairy Pelagic 2 June

Subject: Port Fairy Pelagic 2 June
From: "Mike Carter" <>
Date: Wed, 5 Jun 2002 17:29:55 -0000
Observers: Chris Lester (organiser), Rohan Clarke, Tania Ireton, Rob & Gail Berry, David Stickney, Geoff Walker, Laurie O’Connor, Tom & Pauline Fletcher, Sean Dooley and Mike Carter.

Weather: A high-pressure area was centred over western Bass Strait. Mainly cloudless, therefore sunny with good visibility. Cold. Very light N. winds inshore, freshening offshore to 12 Kts.

Sea: Slight inshore, moderate offshore on a low swell. Thus it was a comfortable ride and no one was sick.

Activity: Sailed at 07.15. What a difference a week makes! The inshore activity of a week ago was much reduced; just a few Crested Terns and a couple of Great (Brown) Skuas. Headed out on a COG of 206º at 13.3 Kts. There was more activity offshore where Prions were widespread and abundant (three species recorded). 36 km out we stopped to study them and again found krill. We continued across the shelf-break seeing little until our shark liver berley attracted the birds while stopped from 10.30 to 11.30 at 38º49’S 141º52’E in 220 fathoms. Then moved SW about 7 km into deeper water before heading N to 38º47.1’S 141º52.8’E at the shelf break, berleying at both spots. Headed in at 13.10. Cruised the western and northern shores of Lady Julia Percy Is. (LJPI) from 14.55 to 15.20. Docked at 16.30.

Mammals: A small number of Australian Fur Seals were scattered across the inshore and offshore zones and 1,000’s were loafing at LJPI.

Fish: The abundance of fish present over recent months was NOT evident.

Birds: 23/24 species of seabird beyond the river mouth indicated good diversity. Some, (e.g. Prions) were abundant. The highlights are emphasized in bold type. Unless noted otherwise, those listed below were near or beyond the shelf break (i.e. pelagic).

Little Penguin: 11, 1 on LJPI & 10 adjacent.

Common Diving-Petrel: 2 (1), offshore.

N. Giant Petrel: 1 juv at the boat. Also 1 GP sp. flying.

Cape Petrel; 2 (1).

Great-winged Petrel: 20 (10) of the nominate race.

Prion sp.; 800, (700 offshore & 100 inshore).

Antarctic Prion; >1 offshore.

Slender-billed Prion; >4 (2 offshore).

Fairy Prion: >50, 30 offshore, 5 inshore.

Sooty Shearwater: 1.

Short-tailed Shearwater: 5 (3), (3 offshore, 1 inshore).

Fluttering Shearwater: 9 inshore. What a difference a week makes!

Wandering Albatross: 2 gibsoni, 1 stage 2 & 1 stage 5.

Black-browed Albatross: 50 (15). 45 melanophris (15 offshore, 15 inshore). 

 5 impavida.

Shy Albatross: cauta 140 (60), (50 offshore, 20 inshore).

Salvin’s Albatross: 1 full adult.

Yellow-nosed Albatross: 10 (3), (6 offshore, 1 inshore).

What a difference a week makes!

Wilson’s Storm-Petrel: 7 (3).

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

Australasian Gannet: c. 212, (70 offshore, 140 inshore).

Black-faced Cormorant: 4. 2 on LJPI & 2 near PF.

Great (Brown) Skua; 3, (1) 2 inshore, 1 offshore. 

Kelp Gull: 5 (1 juv.) on LJPI.

Silver Gull: 25, 20 on LJPI & 5 inshore.

Crested Tern: c.132, 1 offshore & 130 inshore.

Mike Carter
30 Canadian Bay Road
Mt Eliza    VIC     3930
Ph:  (03) 9787 7136
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