Eaglehawk neck, TAS - Pelagic Trip Report - 27/05/2012

Subject: Eaglehawk neck, TAS - Pelagic Trip Report - 27/05/2012
From: James Melville <>
Date: Wed, 30 May 2012 18:30:33 +1000

PARTICIPANTS:    Els Wakefield, JJ Harrison, Dirk Tomsa, Paul Brooks,
Elizabeth Bicevskis, John Reid, Jenny Warren, Jeremy O'Wheel, John
Tongue, Shirley Tongue, Kimberley Tongue, Peter Tongue & James
Melville (organizer and report compiler) - aboard the Pauletta with
skipper John Males and crew.

CONDITIONS:    15-20 knot southwesterly winds with reports of stronger
winds developing further south around Tasman Island in the afternoon.
Relatively calm waters inshore, with seas up to 3.0 m offshore and
beyond the shelf.

WEATHER: Mostly cloudy, with occasional light rain in the afternoon.

ACTIVITY:     Departed from Pirates Bay aboard the Pauletta at 0715
hrs and headed straight for the Hippolytes, arriving around 0810 hrs.
After circumnavigating Big and Little Hippolyte (Cheverton Rock), we
headed straight for the shelf break and made our first of three berley
stops at 0930 hrs (-43.1209,148.05753) drifting towards
(-43.1675,148.2480) at 1055 hrs. We made a second berley stop at 1130
hrs (-43.1070,148.2715) drifting towards (-43.1030,148.2760) at 1145
hrs. We made a third berley stop at (-43.12, 148.07) from 1310 hrs to
1345 hrs, arriving back at the jetty by 1500 hrs. Berley used at all
three stops included fish frames and oil as well as chicken skins,
scraps and fat.

SUMMARY:    (32) bird species and (1) mammal species were recorded by
observers whilst aboard the Pauletta. Of the thirty-two bird species
recorded beyond the bay, highlights included Southern Fulmar,
Grey-headed Albatross, Soft-plumaged Petrel, White-headed Petrel and
Providence Petrel. A hundred or more ‘Fluttons’ Shearwater encountered
in groups of 1-8, flying west and spread fairly evenly between the
Hippolytes and the shelf break were also noteworthy.

JJ Harrison has posted some excellent photos of the Southern Fulmar,
Grey-headed Albatross and other birds seen, here:


Australian Fur Seal: (c.25) Big Hippolyte, (0) Little Hippolyte
(Cheverton Rock), 1 offshore, 1 in Pirates Bay (PM).


Yellow-nosed Albatross: 3 (1) 1 inshore, remainder pelagic.

GREY-HEADED ALBATROSS: 1 (1) adult, pelagic at BP 3.

Buller's Albatross: 80 (>50) at BP 3, 1 inshore AM, 3 offshore,
remainder pelagic.

Shy Albatross: 80 (27) 1 inshore, remainder offshore / pelagic.

Black-browed Albatross: 2 (1) immature impavida.

Wandering Albatross: 4 (2) 1 adult exulans, remainder gibsoni.

Southern Giant-Petrel: 4 (2) pelagic, followed boat to BP 3 in the PM.

Northern Giant-Petrel: 2 (1) 1 Hippolytes AM.

SOUTHERN FULMAR: 1 (1) pelagic at BP 1 & 3.

Cape Petrel: 30 (12) 2 near Hippolytes AM, 5 at BP 3 PM, remainder pelagic.

Great-winged Petrel: 15 (7), (2) gouldi - offshore and pelagic.

Providence Petrel: 2 (1) pelagic and (1) seen offshore in PM.

SOFT-PLUMAGED PETREL: 2 (1) pelagic at BP 1, and offshore in PM.

WHITE-HEADED PETREL: 4 (2) pelagic at BP 1 & 2 – also noteworthy was
one bird that followed the boat back in from our berley stop for a
period of around 15 minutes. Onley and Scofield indicate that this
species 'rarely follow ships'.

Fairy Prion: 150 (70) mostly pelagic, several seen offshore in the AM.

Sooty Shearwater: 2 (1) pelagic, (1) offshore in the PM.

Short-tailed Shearwater: 2 (1) inshore in AM, (1) pelagic.

Hutton's Shearwater: fleeting and generally distant views; observed a
small number of probable Hutton’s between the Hippolytes and the shelf
break in the AM.

Fluttering Shearwater: 100 (8) observed flying west between the
Hippolytes and the shelf break in the AM.

Wilson's Storm Petrel: 3 (3) pelagic at BP 1.

Grey-backed Storm Petrel: 20 (12) pelagic.

Common Diving-Petrel: 25 (6) offshore.

Australasian Gannet: c. 130 (c.100) two large flocks over bait balls
near the Hippolytes.

Great Cormorant: 1 (1) Pirates Bay in PM.

Black-faced Cormorant: c 100 (55)

White-faced Heron: 3 (3) Big Hippolyte

White-bellied Sea Eagle: 1 (1) adult. Seen over Pirates Bay in AM and
inshore east of Pirates Bay in the PM.

Sooty Oystercatcher: 1 (1) on rock shelf east of Pirates Bay AM.

Silver Gull: c.50 (27)

Pacific Gull: 5 (3) 1 Juvenile at Hippolytes in AM.

Kelp Gull: c. 30 (12)

Crested Tern c.45 (8)

James Melville

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