PLEASE NOTE PREVIOUS POSTING HAD WRONG DATE. IT WAS SEPTEMBER NOT AUGUST
> BA-VIC Victorian Pelagics
> PORT FAIRY (PF) PELAGIC TRIP REPORT, 5 September 2004
> OBSERVERS: Chris Lester (organiser), Rob Berry, Gail D'Alton, Tania
> Rosemary Lester, Grant Penrhyn, Frank Pierce, Charles Smith, David
> Nick Talbot, Geoff Walker, Glenn White & Mike Carter (leader).
> WEATHER: An anticyclone was centred over SW Victoria, i.e. right over us!
> Thus winds were light (max. 5-8 Kts) with a NE bias in the morning but
> to the SE and freshened a little after 15.00. It was fine with cloudless
> skies and excellent visibility but cold.
> SEA: Slight (state 2) but smooth at times, on a 1.5 SW swell. Temperature
> 13ºC. So it was a very comfortable ride with little or no spray. No one
> even queasy!
> ACTIVITY: Sailed from Port Fairy (38º23'18"S 142º14'30"E) at 07.03. We
> out on our usual course of 205º at 13.5 Kts. Enroute to the shelf there
> quite a bit of bird activity, particularly inshore where albatrosses had
> been, or were, feeding on cuttlefish but virtually no small birds. The
> concentration of feeding seabirds, over 300, mainly large species
> (albatrosses, Gannets and Giant Petrels) was at 38º43.3'S 141º57.2'E in 61
> fathoms. From my position on the bow I diverted the boat to inspect the
> flock. As I did so, a juvenile GREY-HEADED ALBATROSS flew towards us and
> passed closely but continued away disappearing into the sun. We stopped
> berleyed but the birds showed no interest. The sounder indicated a dense
> shoal of fish. Shy Albatrosses were just sitting on the sea occasionally
> seizing a 12-18 cm fish from the surface with little effort. Some 20 Seals
> were in the area as well as 1 Penguin and 3 Short-tailed Shearwaters. We
> dallied there from 09.05 to 09.35. We crossed the shelf-break (100
> at 09.50 and continued into deeper water to our usual first berley
> but as we spotted a trawler surrounded by hundreds of birds about 4 Nm
> approaching from the east we diverted to intercept it. We joined it at
> 38º50.8'S 141º55.98'E in 240 fathoms, stopped and berleyed with
> and fish scraps from 10.30 to 11.30. Then we again pursued the trawler on
> its westerly course joining it again from 12.00 to 12.30 in 269 fathoms at
> 38º51.0'S 141º49.6'E. Before heading in we spent from 12.45 to 13.05
> berleying in deeper water (313 fathoms) near a seamount at 38º49.7'S
> 141º45.7'E. We came in at 12.5 Kts via Lady Julia Percy Island (LJPI)
> we cruised slowly from 15.10 to 15.25. Docked at 16.35.
> MAMMALS: Common Dolphins: 6 about 5 Nm south of LJPI. Australian Fur
> >3,000 at LJPI and c.10 at sea within 10 km; 20 offshore (see above).
> BIRDS: 24 species (26 taxa) of seabird, the main highlight being a very
> obliging BLUE PETREL, observed beyond the river mouth indicated above
> average diversity. Highlights are in capitals. Unless noted otherwise,
> listed below were near or beyond the shelf break (i.e. pelagic). Note the
> total absence of Silver Gulls (this included LJPI).
> Little Penguin: 5. 1 offshore & 4 on LJPI.
> S. Giant Petrel: 5 (2). 1 offshore & 4 pelagic.
> N. Giant Petrel: 8 (5). 1 inshore, 1 offshore & 7 pelagic.
> Giant Petrel spp.: 4 (1). 3 inshore & 1 offshore.
> Cape Petrel: 22 (12).
> Great-winged Petrel: c.15 (4), all nominate race.
> BLUE PETREL: 1. Photographed; excellent views.
> Fairy Prion: 7 (2). 3 offshore & 4 pelagic.
> Flesh-footed Shearwater: 1, an early date.
> Short-tailed Shearwater: 3 (3) offshore. If returned migrants, an early
> Fluttering Shearwater: 2 inshore.
> HUTTON'S SHEARWATER: 2 +  offshore.
> Wandering Albatross exulans: 1 large unusually plumaged bird being dark
> bodied resembling transition between stage 2 & 3 but pale headed. From
> photos, one consultant reckoned it was an adult female chionoptera.
> ROYAL ALBATROSS SOUTHERN: 2 (2) adults, excellent close views.
> ROYAL ALBATROSS NORTHERN: 2 (1) adults, excellent close views.
> Black-browed Albatross melanophrys: 500 (260). 40 inshore, 60 off & 400
> pelagic, 450 ads, 40 sub-ads, 10 juv.
> Black-browed Albatross impavida: 3 (3) 2 ads, 1 sub-ads.
> Shy Albatross cauta: 200 (120). 10 inshore, 130 off & 60 pelagic. 170
> adults, 25 sub-adults, 5 juvs.
> GREY-HEADED ALBATROSS: 1 juv. offshore.
> Yellow-nosed Albatross: 13 (10). 2 inshore, 10 offshore, 1 pelagic, all
> GREY-BACKED STORM-PETREL: 2 (1).
> Australasian Gannet: c.320 (100). 200 inshore, 120 offshore, 1 pelagic.
> Black-faced Cormorant: 1 inshore.
> Great (Brown) Skua: 1 offshore.
> Kelp Gull: 8 (4 pairs) adults on LJPI.
> Crested Tern: 14 (4), 8 inshore, 4 offshore, 2 pelagic,
> White-fronted Tern: 1 adult pelagic.
> Mike Carter
> 30 Canadian Bay Road
> Mt Eliza VIC 3930
> Ph: (03) 9787 7136
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