Bird Observation and Conservation (BOCA) PELAGIC TRIP off EAGLEHAWK
NECK, Tas, Sunday 18th September 2011
OBSERVERS: Rohan Clarke (organiser/report compiler), John McRae, Ruth
Brozek, Dejan Stojanovic, Els Wakefield, JJ Harrison, Paul Brooks,
Marlene Lyell, Geoff Bromfield, Mike Honeyman, John Young, Mark Stanley.
WEATHER: Reasonably calm inshore, 5-10 knots with occasional gusts to 15
knots in offshore and pelagic waters in the AM. Moderating around midday
to ~5 knots. Mostly clear skies with brief periods of high hazy cloud
around midday. Good to excellent visibility. Mild.
SEA: Reasonably calm through inshore waters with first real swell felt
just beyond the Hipploytes. In offshore and pelagic waters a 0.5-1 m sea
on a 2 m south-easterly swell with occasional larger sets to 3 m. A
comfortable ride throughout the day with almost no spray or splash.
Around midday conditions moderated (swell 1-2 m). No-one seasick.
Compared with Portland, the weekend prior, this was a very pleasant day
ACTIVITY: Sailed at 0725 EST. Headed out past the Hipployte rock stack
before proceeding to the shelf which we crossed at 0910. Surprisingly
few birds at the Hippolytes and generally low numbers of albatross all
the way to the shelf. Good numbers of Common Diving Petrels in offshore
waters. Our first stop at 43º16.66’S 148º16.42’E over 500+ fathoms of
water were we berleyed with fish discards and chicken skin. Moved
further north and further out to 43º04.00’S 148º19.29’E over 500+
fathoms for a second berley stop. The last stop of the day was back on
the shelf edge (43º00.91’S 148º15.04’E ~100 fathoms) where we met a
passing trawler that produced the highest counts of albatross for the
day. Headed back in at 13:45, docking at around 1520.
MAMMALS: Australian Fur Seal: 12 on Hippolyte Rock.
BIRDS: 18 species beyond Pirates Bay (+ a few additional
albatross/petrel taxa) indicates below average diversity. Highlights
were reasonable views of the Grey Petrel and the Royal Albatross.
Great-winged Petrel: 16 (10). All pelagic. Mostly ssp. gouldii, 1
nominate. All pelagic.
Cape Petrel: 8 (6). All pelagic. 2 definite nominate and 2 definite
GREY PETREL: 1 pelagic between the first and second berley point.
Some pics here http://www.pbase.com/wildlifeimages/grey_petrel
Common Diving Petrel: 80 (25). 1 inshore, 2 pelagic, remainder offshore
in both the AM and PM.
Fairy Prion: 60 (30). 15 in offshore waters remained in pelagic waters.
[Antarctic Prion: a single flyby in offshore waters but seen poorly and
Northern Giant-Petrel: 1 immature. Pelagic at second and third berley
Wandering Albatross: 1 gibsoni-type at the last berley point.
SOUTHERN ROYAL ALBATROSS: 4 immature/sub-adult birds. Singles at the
first two berley points. 4 in view at once (briefly) at the third berley
NORTHERN ROYAL ALBATROSS: 1 juvenile at the first berley point.
Black-browed Albatross: all nominate ssp. 6 (3). 2 immature birds
offshore, 2 adults, 2 immature and 1 juvenile pelagic.
Shy Albatross all cauta/steadi: 70 (60). 2 inshore, 3 offshore,
remainder pelagic. 2 immature, remainder adult.
Some pics here http://www.pbase.com/wildlifeimages/shy_albatross
Yellow-nosed Albatross: 2 (1). 1 inshore, 1 pelagic, both adult.
Grey-backed Storm-Petrel: 20 (15). All pelagic.
Short-tailed Shearwater: 40 (25). 10 inshore, 25 offshore, 5 pelagic.
Black-faced Cormorant: 2 inshore in the AM and 40 on and around
Australasian Gannet: 7 (5). All adults, all inshore.
Crested Tern: 30 (5). Mostly inshore but also 9 pelagic. Also 10 on
Kelp Gull: 12 (5). All adult. Mostly inshore. Also 10 on Hippolyte Rock.
Pacific Gull: 2 adults inshore in the AM.
Silver Gull: 3 inshore in the AM plus 40 on and around Hippolyte Rock.
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