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
Fish: The abundance of fish present over recent months was
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),
N. Giant Petrel: 1 juv at
the boat. Also 1 GP sp. flying.
Cape Petrel; 2
Great-winged Petrel: 20 (10)
of the nominate race.
Prion sp.; 800, (700 offshore & 100 inshore).
Prion; >4 (2
Fairy Prion: >50, 30
offshore, 5 inshore.
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).
Shy Albatross: cauta
140 (60), (50 offshore, 20 inshore).
Albatross: 1 full adult.
Yellow-nosed Albatross: 10
(3), (6 offshore, 1 inshore).
What a difference a week makes!
Wilson’s Storm-Petrel: 7
Australasian Gannet: c. 212,
(70 offshore, 140 inshore).
Black-faced Cormorant: 4. 2
on LJPI & 2 near PF.
Skua; 3, (1) 2 inshore, 1
Kelp Gull: 5 (1 juv.) on
Silver Gull: 25, 20 on LJPI
& 5 inshore.
Crested Tern: c.132, 1
offshore & 130 inshore.