Southport Pelagic, May 15th.

To: birding aus <>
Subject: Southport Pelagic, May 15th.
From: Russell Woodford <>
Date: Sun, 23 May 2004 18:47:01 +1000
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.

Crew: 2.

Pax: 10.

Weather Conditions:
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.

Sea Conditions:
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 having = all but left and the winter stuff just starting to trickle in & this May =
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 to = 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 for =

At the drift point, on throwing over some berley more Providence Petrels =
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 that =
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 back = 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 north, = about a week before the pelagic - we could have a good winter coming up. =
Cheers - Paul W.

Contact Paul Walbridge on:
Ph: (H) 61 7 3391 8839 (W) 61 7 3350 8258

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