BA-Vic Portland (Victoria) Pelagic trip, 4 July 2010

Subject: BA-Vic Portland (Victoria) Pelagic trip, 4 July 2010
From: Chris Lester <>
Date: Sat, 10 Jul 2010 13:39:56 +1000

Sunday 4 July 2010

OBSERVERS: George Appleby, Xenia Dennett, Paul Dodd, Rob Farnes, Dougald Frederick, Rosemary Lester, Euan Moore, Jenny Rolland, Luke Shelley, Brooke Whylie, Ruth Woodrow, Chris Lester (organiser).

VESSEL: The "Southern Pride" with skipper Shannon Churchill and his deckie, Peter.

WEATHER: Initially overcast with some light showers on the way out. Wind was from the SW at about 10 knots. Wind picked up from the WNW to 15 knots during the day. It remained cloudy with 20-50% coverage with sunny patches.

SEA: Initially, a swell of 2 m with a sea of less than 1 m. The swell was constant during the day and the sea increased to 1 m.

ACTIVITY: Departed Portland at 7.30 am. Headed directly south to the shelf break, arriving at 10 am at the first stop at 38º46.23’S 141º32.96’E in 200 fathoms of water. We berleyed here until 11.30. Good number of birds with lots of Cape Petrels. Moved further W and stopped in 200 fathoms between 11.50 am and 1.15 pm at 38º45.98’S 141º29.22’E. Again, the birds were in good numbers and we saw the Buller's Albatross here. Moved again further N and stopped at the shelf break in 110 fathoms between 1.30 pm and 2.30 pm at 38º44.82’S 141º28.98’E. Headed back in via Lawrence Rocks, which had mostly Gannets and a few Southern Skuas. Returned to dock at 5:10 pm.


Australian Fur Seals: about 10 on Lawrence Rocks and 1 pelagic.

BIRDS: 21 species is a modest count for a Portland pelagic but the numbers of birds were quite good. Highlights were good views of Southern Skuas and the Buller's Albatross, which is not usually seen off Portland in winter. There were no shearwaters seen at all, which is unusual.

Wilson’s Storm-Petrel: 2 (1). Both pelagic.

Grey-backed Storm-Petrel: 10 (6). All pelagic.

Wandering Albatross: 3 (2).  All pelagic.

Black-browed Albatross: 100 (30). Mostly nominate race, impavida 5. Inshore and pelagic.

Shy Albatross: 50 (20). All cauta. Inshore and pelagic.

Yellow-nosed Albatross: 3 (1). All pelagic. Adults.

Buller’s Albatross: 1. Pelagic.

Southern Giant-Petrel: 2 (1).  Pelagic.

Cape Petrel: 100 (40). Pelagic and offshore.

Fairy Prion: 40 (10).  Offshore and pelagic.

Great-winged Petrel: 5 (3). Race macroptera. All pelagic.

Australasian Gannet: 20 (5). Offshore. Also hundreds on and around Lawrence Rocks.

Black-faced Cormorant: 10. Only seen in Portland Harbour.

Little Pied Cormorant:  10.  In Portland Harbour.

Australian Pied Oystercatcher: 2. In Portland Harbour.

Sooty Oystercatcher: 2. At Lawrence Rocks

Southern Skua: 5 (3). At least one, possibly 2 pelagic, at least 3 at Lawrence Rocks and at least one in Portland Harbour.

Crested Tern: 10 (4). Inshore and in Portland Harbour.

Kelp Gull: 5. 1 on Lawrence Rocks and the rest in Portland Harbour.

Silver Gull: 30.  Mostly around Lawrence Rocks with a in Portland Harbour.

Welcome Swallow: 2. At Lawrence Rocks.

Chris Lester


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