BirdLife Victoria - Portland Pelagic Trip Report, 6 October 2013

Subject: BirdLife Victoria - Portland Pelagic Trip Report, 6 October 2013
From: Chris Lester <>
Date: Sat, 12 Oct 2013 12:32:13 +1100

BirdLife Victoria Pelagic off Portland, Victoria, Sunday 6 October 2013

Participants: Tim Bawden, Paul Dodd, Jane Hayes, Tracey-Ann Hooley, Trevor Hunt, Rosemary Lester, Wendy McWilliams, David Pendavingh, Arthur Samuel, Jenny Spry, , Ruth Woodrow, Chris Lester (organiser).

Crew: Neville and Darren.

Activity: Departed Portland harbour aboard the Southern Pride boat at 07.00 heading just west of south to the shelf past Lawrence Rocks. Went straight out to the shelf. Our first stop was at 38°47.246'S, 141°26.843'E in 250 fathoms of water, where we berleyed from 9.40 till 11.10. We moved to the north-west to 38°45.285'S, 141°22.440'E still in 250 fathoms and stayed there from 11.45 until 12.55. We moved further north-west and berleyed at 38°41.667'S, 141°17.938'E in 210 fathoms from 13.30 until 14.15. Headed back in, passing Lawrence Rocks, where we had a good look, before returning and docking at 17.00.

Conditions: Initially, there was a light wind of about 10 knots from the SW. There was no sea to speak of but a swell of 3 m. There was cloud cover of 70%. The swell went down to 1.5 m in the late morning. The wind went down to about 5 knots and then freshened again back to 10 knots. It showered briefly on us at the first stop then the cloud cover reduced to 80%.

Summary: About normal diversity with 24 identified species of seabird recorded during the trip and with the numbers of most regular species reasonable. The highlights were White-chinned Petrel and Flesh-footed Shearwater.


Australian Fur Seal: the normal numbers loafing at Lawrence Rocks with a few on the way to and from the shelf.

Common Dolphins: a few on the way out.


Wilson's Storm-Petrel: 20 (6). Pelagic.

White-faced Storm-Petrel: 2 (1). Pelagic.

Black-browed Albatross: 4 (2). 2 adults, 1 race melanophrys and 1
impavada with 2 juveniles, also one of each. Pelagic.

Shy Albatross: 150 (50). All race cauta except 1 race salvini. Mostly pelagic with a few inshore.

Yellow-nosed Albatross: 2 (1).  Pelagic.

Wandering Albatross: 10 (5). Pelagic. Race gibsoni.

Southern Giant-Petrel: 4 (2). Pelagic.

Northern Giant-Petrel: 4 (2). Pelagic.

Cape Petrel: 6 (3). Pelagic.

Fairy Prion: 10 (3). Pelagic.

White-chinned Petrel: 1. Pelagic.

Flesh-footed Shearwater: 10 (4). Pelagic.

Sooty Shearwater: 2 (1). Pelagic.

Short-tailed Shearwater: 100 (20). Pelagic and on the way out and in.

Fluttering Shearwater: 1. On the way in.

Great-winged Petrel: 10 (5). Both race macroptera and race gouldi. Pelagic.

Australasian Gannet: 2000+. Most were on or near Lawrence Rocks but about 30 offshore and pelagic.

Little Black Cormorant: 1. In Portland Harbour.

Black-faced Cormorant: 30+, mostly on or near Lawrence Rocks with 4 flying passed inshore.

Arctic Jaeger: 2. On the way in.

White-fronted Tern: 1. Pelagic.

Crested Tern: 300+ in Portland Harbour, with 8 off-shore and pelagic.

Kelp Gull: 3. Around Lawrence Rocks.

Silver Gull: 10 at Lawrence Rocks and in Portland Harbour.

There was also a White-bellied Sea-Eagle on Lawrence Rocks and a Sooty Oystercatcher just after we left Portland Harbour.

For details of future Portland trips, go to the BirdLife Australia web site at the bottom of the page on

For reports of past BA-Vic and BirdLife Australia trips from Portland and Port Fairy, search the Birding-Aus archives for the trip reports at


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