Eaglehawk Pelagic Trip Report – January 8th, 2017
Hazel Britton, Ruth Brozek, Karen Dick, Ian Halliday, Rob Hamilton, Mona
Loofs-Samorzewski, Angus McNab, Brendan Oonk, Jenny Ostenfeld, Nicole
Sommer, Luna van der Loos, Els Wakefield, and Paul Brooks (organiser and
The Pauletta, skippered by John Males, with deckhand Michael Males.
The success of this trip was defined by the wind – when it blew, we saw
some excellent birds and when it stopped blowing, which it did, things were
pretty slow. We had a steady north-easterly blowing when we left port and
this produced sightings of Wedge-tailed Shearwater, a major Tasmanian
rarity, and Buller’s Shearwater, a lifer for some, over the shelf. Not
long after pulling up to berley, the wind dropped right out and we were
literally deserted. The northerly picked up again for a brief period,
however, and brought with it a very showy Black-bellied Storm Petrel,
another lifer for some. More sightings of Wedge-tailed Shearwater topped
an exciting day on the water.
Left Pirates Bay at 0720 hrs and headed down past the Hippolytes before
striking east to the shelf-break to berley over 250 fathoms at 0930 hrs.
We drifted slowly south to 220 fathoms at 1130 hrs before heading back up
our slick to start a new drift very close to our original starting point at
1145 hrs. Our second drift was quicker, reaching 225 fathoms by 1245 hrs
before heading back to port to dock at 1445 hrs.
Left port under overcast skies with some light rain. The 1.5 m swell was
from the north-east with choppy seas to 1 m in the 15 kn north-easterly
wind. Past the Hippolyte, the wind picked up to 20 kn + with the seas
reaching 2 m at times. Conditions were similar out wide with some gusts
approaching 30 kn until the cloud dissipated and the wind dropped right out
at around 1000 hrs, with the sea becoming much calmer. The wind picked up
again briefly at around 1030 before dropping off to 5-10 kn for the
remainder of our time beyond the shelf. On our way back to port, an
expected south-westerly change hit, bringing winds up to 25 kn, but nothing
new in the way of birdlife. Water temperature was 17.3 deg C inshore,
rising to 18.1 deg C out wide. None seasick.
Australian/New Zealand Fur Seal: 10 (12) On and around The Hippolyte with
one hanging around next to the boat for an extended period in deep water.
Shortfin Mako Shark: 1 appeared behind the boat as soon as the berley went
Cabbage White Butterfly: 1 a couple of kms out of Pirates Bay in the
Birds (IOC v 7.1 – max at one time in brackets):
Wilson’s Storm Petrel: 6 (6) Pelagic.
Grey-backed Storm Petrel: 1 Pelagic.
White-faced Storm Petrel: 16 (12) Pelagic, with one bird following us in a
short way over the shelf.
BLACK-BELLIED STORM PETREL: 1 bird foraged in the slick for around 15
minutes giving excellent, close views after the wind picked up at around
Wandering Albatross: 2 (1) Both pelagic.
Antipodean Albatross: 1 An adult male *gibsoni* in pelagic waters.
Black-browed Albatross: 3 (3) An adult, a sub-adult, and an immature in
Black-browed type Albatross: 1 bird flew by in offshore waters.
Shy Albatross: c. 30 (7) 6 inshore in the morning; 7 offshore in the
morning; remainder pelagic. Mainly adult with a couple of immatures.
Buller’s Albatross: 1 adult in pelagic waters.
Northern Giant Petrel: 1 Immature bird in pelagic waters.
Fairy Prion: 10 (6) 2 offshore in the morning; remainder pelagic.
White-chinned Petrel: 11 (9) 2 offshore in the morning; remainder pelagic.
WEDGE-TAILED SHEARWATER 3 (3) A bird appeared behind the boat offshore in
the morning at around 70 fathoms. Two more singles were encountered in
pelagic waters before 3 birds were seen together later in the day; could
have been up to 6 birds all told. A very rare sight in Tasmanian waters.
BULLER’S SHEARWATER: 2 (1) 1 bird approached from the stern and flew by,
giving good views, over 70 fathoms. Another bird flew by quickly over 85
Sooty Shearwater: 4 (1) All pelagic.
Short-tailed Shearwater: c. 3000 (c. 1000) c. 1000 offshore in the morning;
just 3 birds sighted at our first stop in deep water but flocks of up to a
1000 were observed while motoring back up our slick.
Fluttering Shearwater: 2 (1) Both offshore in the morning.
Hutton’s Shearwater: 2 (1) Both pelagic.
‘Flutton’s’ Shearwater: 4 (1) 1 offshore in the morning; 2 offshore in the
afternoon; 1 inshore in the afternoon.
Common Diving Petrel: 3 (2) 1 bird in pelagic waters and 2 inshore in the
Black-faced Cormorant: c. 610 (c. 600) All inshore and on the Hippolyte in
Australasian Gannet: c. 30 (c. 20) All inshore and on the Hippolytes in the
Silver Gull: c. 100 (c. 50) All inshore and on the Hippolytes in the
Pacific Gull: 3 (2) 2 adults on rocks at the mouth of Pirates Bay and 1
adult on the Hippolyte.
Kelp Gull: c. 130 (c. 70) All inshore and on the Hippolytes in the morning.
Greater Crested Tern: 8 (3) All inshore and on the Hippolytes in the
Parasitic Jaeger: 2 (2) Inshore in the morning, both dark morph.
<BR> Birding-Aus mailing list
<BR> To change settings or unsubscribe visit: