Port Fairy Pelagic 4 Aug. 2002

Subject: Port Fairy Pelagic 4 Aug. 2002
From: "Mike Carter" <>
Date: Tue, 6 Aug 2002 14:22:59 -0000

Observers: Mike Carter (organiser), Peter Lansley, Tania Ireton, Rob & Gail Berry, Euan Fothergill, Peter Crabtree, Ray Schulz, Tim Dolby, John Harris, Adam Rigg and Lee Milway.

Weather: An anticyclone was centred over eastern South Australia extending a ridge to western Bass Strait. Cloud cover varied from 2/8 to 8/8. Frequent drizzle showers in a.m. with sunny periods. Mainly sunny with good visibility in p.m. Cool. Very light S to SW winds in a.m. with an occasional squall; calm in p.m.

Sea: In the morning, slight, on a low to moderate swell. In the afternoon, glassy but undulating on a rising, 3-4 m swell. One-and-a-half persons sick.

Activity: Sailed at 07.35. A few albatrosses, mostly immature birds, and a juv. S Giant Petrel were feeding inshore on cuttlefish. Headed out on a COG of 206º at 13.0 Kts. About 40 km out at the 40 fathom line there were >400 Gannets and a smaller number of birds of other species feeding, as well as Common Dolphins. We continued across the shelf-break seeing little until our shark liver berley attracted the birds at three stops between 10.50 & 13.30 centred on 38º49’S 141º52’E in 230 fathoms. Cruised the western and northern shores of Lady Julia Percy Is. (LJPI) from 15.20 to 15.50. Docked at 16.50.

Mammals: About 5 Australian Fur Seals were scattered across the inshore and offshore zones and 1,000’s at LJPI.  A pod of c. 20 Common Dolphins offshore.

Birds: 23 species of seabird beyond the river mouth indicated good diversity but only Gannets were really 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: 1 inshore in p.m.

S. Giant Petrel: 1 juv. dominating albatrosses feeding on cuttlefish inshore.

Cape Petrel: 4 (2), (1 offshore & 1 inshore).

Great-winged Petrel: 10 (4), all nominate race.

Antarctic Prion: 2-3.

Slender-billed Prion: 10 (6), (2 offshore). Excellent, close, photogenic views.

Fairy Prion: 6 (3), (2 offshore).

Sooty Shearwater: 1.

Short-tailed Shearwater: 1 offshore.

Fluttering Shearwater: 3 inshore.

Hutton’s Shearwater: 1-2 offshore.

Wandering Albatross: 3. 1 juv. gibsoni, 1 juv. & 1 stage 4 exulans.

N. Royal Albatross: 1. Excellent extended views.

Black-browed Albatross: 92 (35). 90 melanophris (30 inshore, 20 offshore). 

 2 impavida.

Shy Albatross: cauta 40 (12), (15 inshore, 10 offshore).

Yellow-nosed Albatross: 28 (6), (6 inshore, 15 offshore with Gannets).

Grey-backed Storm-Petrel: 1.

Australasian Gannet: c. 500, (50 inshore, 450 offshore & 1 pelagic).

Great (Brown) Skua: 1 offshore. 

Kelp Gull: 14 on LJPI.

Silver Gull: 2 on LJPI.

Crested Tern: 80 (60), (38 inshore, 38 offshore & 4 pelagic). 22 standing on

floating mass of kelp 30 km offshore.

White-fronted Tern: 1.

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