Hi Birding-aussers here is the trip report for
yesterdays 18th Jan. pelagic.
Vessel - 53 ft Flying Fish II.
Pax. - 17, with 2 crew.
Weather - Warm, sultry conditions early with light
to moderate SE-E winds,10-15 knots. Early afternoon saw an earlier than forecast
gusting NW change to 25 knots which combined with outgoing tide and southerly
current led to a rather tedious trip back home to the Seaway.
Seas, calm early, on a 1.5 metre swell, NW
change saw increasing seas on a rising swell. All up a moderate, pleasant
day out on the ocean with only one person sick.
January is usually a fairly quiet month and this
trip was no exception with overall numbers of birds low. Just outside the Seaway
a few rafts of Wedge-tailed Shearwaters were encountered (to 150) but this time
Little activity crossing the Shelf with just a few
Wedge-taileds and Crested Terns sighted. The first Tahiti Petrel was sighted
just after crossing into Slope waters and the widest drift point (approx. 55
kilometres) was reached at 1130 hrs.
Shortly after the first lot of chum was tossed over
the Tahiti Petrels and Wedge-tailed Shearwaters started to arrive and feed. It
was then that the suprise package of the day turned up with the arrival of first
one, then two more Gould's Petrels.
For those of you familiar with 'cookilarias' you
should know the usual scenario - 1 pass, 2 if your lucky followed by
mutterings of "the little mongrel's "pi---d off", again!! Not this
day, for the next 40 or so minutes the three birds put on an awesome display,
feeding and passing at close quarters to a captive audience. Whirring motor
drives followed by the 'beep-beep' of auto focussing were the
We finally had to depart, with one of the Gould's
rather cheekily following closely in our wake for a short time! The only
excitement on the way back was of brief but good middle distance views of a
Tahiti Petrel - 8 (3)
White-necked Petrel -
Gould's Petrel - 3
Wedge-tailed Shearwater - 378 (150)
Flesh-footed Shearwater - 4 (2)
Hutton's Shearwater - 1
Pied Cormorant - 1
Pomarine Jaeger - 2
Silver Gull - 70
Crested Tern - 49
Sooty Tern - 2
Whiskered Tern - 2
Could Tania Ireton please contact me again re;
pelagic request. I inadvertantly deleted her first posting before I could save
it to my pelagic folder. Cheers - Paul Walbridge.
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