Eaglehawk Pelagic Trip Report, May 8th 2016

To: birding-aus <>
Subject: Eaglehawk Pelagic Trip Report, May 8th 2016
From: Paul Brooks <>
Date: Wed, 11 May 2016 04:55:18 +0000
Eaglehawk Pelagic - 8th of May, 2015


Ruth Brozek, Karen Dick, Scott Linnane, Mona Loofs-Samorzewski, Brian
McGlashan, Paul Newman, Glen Pacey, Michael Vaughan, Peter Vaughan, George
Vaughan, Els Wakefield, Andrew Walter and Paul Brooks (organiser and report


The Pauletta, skippered by John Males, with deckhand Andre.


Left port at 0730 hrs and headed south to circumnavigate the Hippolytes in
very calm conditions.  Headed east to set a slick over 310 fathoms at 0935
hrs.  Berleyed until 1230 hrs with various fish frames, chicken skins and
tuna oil, drifting to 200 fathoms in a confused pattern due to the variable
current and breeze.  Headed back up the slick at midday before travelling
north for 30 mins to set another slick over 385 fathoms, drifting back in
to 265 fathoms over 45 mins.  Again motored back up the slick before
heading back to port via the Hippolyte, docking at 1500 hrs.  The deckhand
dropped a few lures in when we got back over the shelf and we hooked up a
small bluefin just inside the Hippolyte, which was reeled in by Brian –
everybody took a steak home.


Left port in a very light breeze with a low, gentle swell under a mainly
cloudy sky.   In offshore waters the swell picked up to around 1.5 metres
with a long period.  Towards the shelf break, the wind increased to 5-10
knots from the south-east and the swell topped 2 metres but remained fairly
gentle.  By midday, the wind had increased to around 15 knots and the swell
was up around 2.5 metres with some larger waves to 4 metres; seas to 1
metre.  Water temperature was 16.5 deg C inshore, rising to the low 17s out
wide.  Air temperature was very mild for May.  None seasick.


Australian/New Zealand Fur Seal: c.50 Around 30 on the Hippolytes plus
several others throughout the day.

Short-beaked Common Dolphin: c. 200  Several separate sightings throughout
the day, including a large pod of at least 100 which cavorted around the
boat in the afternoon and followed us for a while on our way back to port.
Estimate of numbers may be on the low side.


Southern Bluefin Tuna: 1 small fish (approx. 20 kg) hooked just inside the

Birds (IOC v 5.3 – max at one time in brackets):

Little Penguin: 1 just beyond the Hippolyte in the morning.

Antipodean Albatross: 1 A single adult male *gibsoni* made several passes
and landed behind the boat in pelagic waters.

Southern Royal Albatross: 1 adult made several passes and landed behind the
boat in pelagic waters.  A similar bird made a pass well inside the shelf
break in the morning; the brief view at the time and a distant photograph
suggests that it could have been the same individual.

Black-browed Albatross: 1 immature in pelagic waters.

Black-browed type Albatross: 1 adult crossed the bow without stopping in
offshore waters.

Shy Albatross: c. 50 (21) 1 inshore in the morning; 4 offshore in the
morning; remainder pelagic.  Mainly adult *cauta/steadi* with at least 4
immatures and 2 juveniles.

Indian Yellow-nosed Albatross: 3 (1) 1 adult inshore in the morning; 1
adult and 1 immature in pelagic waters.

Buller’s Albatross: 17 (4) 5 inshore in the morning; 8 offshore in the
morning; remainder pelagic.  All adult.

Giant Petrel Sp. 1 Disturbed from the water on our way back to port

Northern Giant Petrel: 4 (2) All in pelagic waters; 3 immatures, 1 juvenile.

SOUTHERN FULMAR: 1 bird fed in the slick and circled the boat for over an
hour giving excellent views.

Cape Petrel: 4 (4) All in pelagic waters, all looked like *capense.*

Fairy Prion: 7 (5) 6 pelagic and 1 near the Hippolyte in the afternoon.

Great-winged Petrel: 18 (11) 17 pelagic; 1 offshore in the afternoon.  The
majority were nominate race with at least 4 race *gouldi*.

WESTLAND PETREL: 1 approached the boat closely and stayed with us for a
while, giving good views.  BARC submission in preparation.

White-chinned Petrel: 1 pelagic.

Sooty Shearwater: 2 (1) Both pelagic.

Short-tailed Shearwater: 10 (4) 4 offshore in the morning, 5 pelagic and 1
offshore in the afternoon.

Wilson’s Storm Petrel: 1 pelagic.

Grey-backed Storm Petrel: 1 pelagic.

White-faced Storm Petrel: 1 pelagic.

Common Diving Petrel: 14 (6) 13 offshore in the morning and 1 pelagic.

Black-faced Cormorant: c. 170 (c. 50) Inshore and around the Hippolytes.

Australasian Gannet: 33 (13) Inshore and around the Hippolyte.

White-bellied Sea Eagle: 1 over the Hippolyte in the afternoon.

Silver Gull: 8 (5) 5 inshore and 3 offshore in the morning.

Pacific Gull: 4 (3) Adults inshore and on the Hippolyte in the morning.

Kelp Gull: c.30 (8) Inshore and around the Hippolyte in the morning –
adults and juveniles.

Greater Crested Tern: c. 75 (c. 50) c. 60 inshore and on Cheverton Rock in
the morning; 7 offshore in the morning; 6 pelagic.

White-fronted Tern: 7 (3) 3 birds followed the boat briefly just before we
got to the drop-off; 4 birds in pelagic waters, including at least 1

ARCTIC TERN: 1 made a close but brief approach in pelagic waters, taking a
morsel from the slick before dematerialising.

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