The Ultimate Southern Pelagic!

To: "birding-aus" <>
Subject: The Ultimate Southern Pelagic!
From: "Peter Marsh" <>
Date: Fri, 29 Feb 2008 17:41:54 +1100
Dear Birders,

This is a posting regarding 3 proposed non-profit pelagic trips from the very 
southernmost part of Tasmania down to Pedra Blanca in the full force of the 
roaring 40s this coming winter.

A well known Aussie birder recently sent me a part of his log from a pelagic 
trip that went south of Tasmania in August some years ago :-

"The final few days off the west coast of Tasmania were memorable for both the 
excellent weather and high counts of birds. The trip is
perhaps best summed up by recounting the highlights of a 20 minute count made 
some 50 miles off the south west coast of Tasmania.
Although no burley was being used, there were 13 species following the ship at 
the time. Goodies included Southern Fulmar (1), Grey Petrel
(4), Blue Petrel (1), Grey-headed Albatross (20), Southern Royal Albatross (1), 
Wandering Albatross (2), Light mantled Sooty Albatross
(1) and a high count of Cape Petrels (35). In total 32 species of  seabird were 
recorded during a most memorable voyage."

This reinforced a suggestion made to me a couple of years ago by the doyen of 
Tasmanian pelagics, Dr Bill Wakefield, that a winter trip to Pedra Blanca, 
which is some 26 Km south of the southernmost point of Tasmania, might turn up 
some fantastic cold weather birds.Bill has indicated an intention to come on 
these trips.

In order to provide an opportunity to see those birds Bill and I have been in 
touch with the owner of the La Golondrina, a 57 ft charter vessel very 
experienced with Tasmania's south coast, about pelagic trips in late July 2008 
( see ). He is agreeable to take a group of 12 
birders from Soputhport which is the southernmost port in Tasmania. The idea is 
to go out  for up to 3 times over a maximum of 5 days between 28 and 1 August 
2008. Participants would have to get to Southport, where there is a 
conveniently located motel, by the evening of Saturday 19th July. If the 
weather is OK we will go out on the 27th leaving early and getting back on dusk 
(days are short in Tassie at that time of year). If the weather is not OK we 
will try the next day. We will keep doing this until the afternoon of the 1st 
or we have done 3 trips whichever comes first.

Judging by last years weather there were a number of weather windows in July 
that would have been suitable for 2 or 3 days out over a 5 day period. It is 
however likely to be very cold,  windy and possibly  rough.  A good set of warm 
clothing and wet weather gear will be required. On the other hand we might see 
some fantastic birds rarely found elsewhere off the Australian coast, the boat 
is well found and has a cabin which offers good protection from the elements.

The cost of the boat hire, presuming there are 12 takers, will be $167.00 for 
the first day and $125:00 for each subsequent day. Bookings will be taken on a 
first in best dressed basis. Once bookings are confirmed I would like to 
receive a cheque for the first days fee.

This proposed trip follows on directly after a series of trips that are being 
organised from St Helens on the Tasmanian east coast. Any absolute "pelagic 
tragic" could do both series of voyages.

I am organising this trip on an all care and no responsibility basis - Anyone 
coming on this trip has to accept total personal responsability for their own 

Peter Marsh
Birchgrove NSW
0414 810 426

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