From: "Paul Walbridge" <>
To: "Birding-aus" <>
Subject: Southport Pelagic, May 15th.
Date: Sun, 23 May 2004 15:32:13 +1000
Hi Birding-aussers below is the report for 15th May Southport pelagic;
Vessel: 60 ft monohull Skybird III.
A high over southern Australia brought cool S-SW winds onto the SEQ =
coast. Wind speed 10-15 knots. Air temperature 23C max. Cloud cover, =
light high jetstream. Barometer, 1016 hPa.
Seas to 1/2 metre on 1.5-2 metre swell. Sea surface temperature, 23.5C
inshore, 25C at Shelf-break & out wide.
May is a transition month for us up this way, the summer species
all but left and the winter stuff just starting to trickle in & this
followed the trend.
Left the Seaway at 0730 hrs & shortly afterwards located the first =
Australasian Gannet (a juv.) for the season, sitting on the water. =
Headed out towards the Shelf-break, with just Short-tailed, Fluttering
Hutton's Shearwaters sighted. However at the 50 fathom mark we hooked =
onto & landed a fine 8 1/2 kg Wahoo, so there must have been some =
baitfish activity going on.
On approaching the Shelf-break, the first Providence Petrels started
appear following the vessel right to the drift point, arriving at 1055
hrs. Shortly before we stopped however the bird of the day - an adult =
White Tern - approached from astern heading east, an unusual record
At the drift point, on throwing over some berley more Providence
appeared followed by Wilson's Storm Petrels but apart from a lone =
Short-tailed Shearwater that was it! The birds did come nice & close =
though for some good photo opportunities. It's amazing how attractive,
fresh plumaged Providence Petrels can look when seen close up, with
beautiful scale-like feathering on the mantle & uppertail coverts.
Started back for home just after 1200 hrs, with little of note sighted
save for an extra couple of Gannets on nearing the Seaway. Arrived
at the Seaway at 1535 hrs to see a local fisherman's pride & joy go up
in flames and black smoke, not a nice sight or feeling! Apparently it =
was an electrical fault and they had just finished re-fuelling at the =
very bowser we were to berth at. They both jumped onto the wharf as it
exploded and the vessel drifted across the Broadwater, as we came =
alongside it lay gutted to the waterline on an adjacent beach. A =
sobering sight, to say the least!!
Providence Petrel - 59 (22)
Short-tailed Shearwater - 5 (4)
Fluttering Shearwater - 2
Hutton's Shearwater - 1
Wilson's Storm Petrel - 14 (8)
Australasian Gannet - 3 (2)
Little Black Cormorant - 1
Silver Gull - 47
Crested Tern - 42
White Tern - 1
A very quite trip. The next pelagic is on June 19th, when the colder =
water species should have well & truly arrived. In fact an adult =
Buller's Albatross was found beach-washed on Fraser Island to the
about a week before the pelagic - we could have a good winter coming
Cheers - Paul W.
Contact Paul Walbridge on:
Ph: (H) 61 7 3391 8839 (W) 61 7 3350 8258
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