Southport Pelagic 29th June 2013

To: <>
Subject: Southport Pelagic 29th June 2013
From: "Paul Walbridge" <>
Date: Thu, 04 Jul 2013 08:57:05 +1000
Hi All, here is the report for last Saturdays' Southport Pelagic.

Location: Southport, Queensland
Date: 29/6/13
Vessel: 37 ft monohull MV Grinner
Crew: Craig Newton (skipper)
Pax: Paul Walbridge (leader & organizer), Brian Russell, Jon Norling,
Richard Baxter, Josan Moss, Nikolas Haas, Raja Stephenson, Chris
Morecroft, Eve Belisle, Chris Wiley, Todd, Burrows, Judith Hoyle, Kathy
Wilk, Deborah Metters, Shealagh Walker.

Weather conditions: A high over the southern Tasman extended a broad
ridge over Queensland, combined with a trough moving north over southern
Queensland brought E-SE winds, 15-20 knots. Heavy cloud early, breaking
up with sunny periods later on, then rainy squalls on approaching the
coast late afternoon. Visibility generally quite good. Maximum air temp.
19* C, barometer 1022 hPa.

Sea conditions: Moderate seas on a 1.5 metre swell early, increasing to
up to 2 metre swell with a messy chop with the increasing wind by mid to
late morning. Sea surface temps. 19.3* C at the seaway, rising to 21.9*
C out wide.

Left the Seaway at 0700 hrs and initially headed for the Rivieras but
with the deteriorating conditions, decided to stop just beyond the
Shelf-break at 1020 hrs. Drifted here, very slowly, until 1235 hrs, then
left for home, arriving back at the seaway at 1600 hrs. Duration of trip
9 hrs.
On exiting the seaway the first species sighted was Fairy Prion, with
several passing astern to the north, followed by a few foraging
Australian Gannets and a few Crested Terns. With no trawlers present,
continued directly across the shelf with regular sightings of Fairy
Prion and the first pterodroma of the day, a Providence Petrel sighted
at 0740 hrs, just 5 nautical miles from the coast, with another single
bird at 0810 hrs, still well on the shelf. From then until arriving at
the shelf-break at 1020 hrs, it was all Fairy Prions with the occasional
Providence Petrel and Australian Gannet.
Just a few minutes into the drift the first albatrosses for the winter
arrived in quick succession, in the form of an adult Buller*s, an
adult Campbell (second Southport record) a juvenile Black-browed and an
adult Indian Yellow-nosed Albatross, much to the delight of a few first
timers on board. These birds all hung around the slick for quite some
time, making several passes around the vessel presenting many
photographic opportunities. Four species of Albatross together in
southern Coral Sea waters is quite exceptional. Along with this group
the sole Great-winged Petrel of the day appeared and remained for a few
While Providence Petrels continued to arrive from the north, another
first for the winter arrived right at the back of the vessel and always
a favourite, a Cape Petrel at 1120 hrs. For the next hour or so nothing
much changed in regard to species present until 1200 hrs when the first
Wilson*s Storm-Petrel belatedly appeared in the slick, followed by a
few more over the ensuing minutes. On heading down the slick a second
Indian Yellow-nosed Albatross was encountered on the water at 1250 hrs.
Crossing back over the shelf produced more Wilson*s Storm-Petrels,
Providence Petrels and Australian Gannets, with the occasional Crested
Tern. We were almost back at the seaway, just 600 metres from shore when
a juvenile Northern Giant Petrel was sighted, sitting on the water at
1520 hrs. The skipper circled the vessel around back to the bird, which
immediately flew over for a feed. There we remained for the next half an
hour or so as the big brown bub  provided an  excellent photo shoot for
all on board, approaching to within a metre. Plus by now, several Fairy
Prions had arrived, along with some Hutton*s Shearwaters, Fluttering
Shearwaters and many circling Australian Gannets.
Wilson*s Storm-Petrel * 7 (2)
Black-browed Albatross * 1 
Campbell Albatross * 1 
Indian Yellow-nosed Albatross * 2 (1)
Buller*s Albatross * 1
Northern Giant Petrel * 1 
Cape Petrel * 1 (D. c. australe)
Antarctic Prion * 1 
Fairy Prion * 40 (15)
Fluttering Shearwater * 2 
Hutton*s Shearwater * 2
Great-winged Petrel * 1 (P.m.gouldi)
Providence Petrel * 33 (12)
Australian Gannet * 28 (8)
Crested Tern * 19 (5)
Silver Gull * 3 

Another trip has been organised for this Saturday 6th July, with a few
spots still available. Contact Paul Walbridge on (PH) (W) 07 3139 4584
(H) 07 3256 4124 E-mail:  

Cheers - Paul W.  

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