Eaglehawk Pelagic - August 27th, 2017
Darryl Eggins, Rob Hamilton, Mona Loofs-Samorzewski, John Tongue, Shirley
Tongue, Peter Tongue, Kimberley Tongue, Els Wakefield, Matt Wright and Paul
Brooks (organiser and report compiler)
The Pauletta, skippered by John Males, with deckhand Craig.
Favourable conditions leading up to the trip had us hopeful of seeing some
good birds and we weren’t disappointed, as a Light-mantled Albatross was
called within a minute of pulling up to berley, soon followed by a Grey
Petrel. We were probably lucky to be out there in the end, as seas were
quite rough and the wind picked up more than expected, causing us to head
back in earlier than usual.
Left port at 0730 hrs and headed straight down to the Hippolytes. It was
decided to head straight to the shelf rather than doing a lap as the going
was pretty slow in the choppy conditions. We struck a much more southerly
route to the shelf than usual to head into the southerly swell, eventually
pulling up over 220 fathoms at 0945 hrs. We drifted almost north-westerly
out to 280 fathoms before pulling up stumps at 1155 hrs and heading for
home via the Hippolytes. The trip back in was another slow affair, docking
at around 1425 hrs.
We set off in a 15 knot south-westerly with choppy seas to 1.5 m. Skies
were mainly cloudy and a little bit of rain fell. As we neared the
Hippolytes, the 3 metre south-westerly swell began to kick in. As we left
the Hippolytes behind, a snow flurry came down over the peninsula. Heading
further out, the swell got to 4 metres plus and the wind picked up to 20-25
knots. The sky remained cloudy with some brief periods of sunshine.
Around 1140 hrs, the wind picked up to 30-35 knots and news of 45 knot
winds at Maatsuyker Island left us with no choice but to head back to port
early. As we got back to the Hippolytes, we were assailed by a couple of
hail showers. Water temperature was 13.5 degrees throughout. None visibly
Short-beaked Common Dolphin: 2 (2) Inshore in the morning.
Australian/New Zealand Fur Seal: c. 15 (c. 15) On the Hippolytes.
Birds (IOC v 7.1 – max at one time in brackets):
Grey-backed Storm Petrel: 1 Pelagic.
Antipodean Albatross: 2 (1) An adult male *gibsoni* seen over just 55
fathoms not long after passing the Hippolyte in the morning and an adult
female/young male in pelagic waters.
Wandering-type Albatross: 1 An all-brown bird seen briefly at distance in
the wake just after we started motoring for home.
Southern Royal Albatross: 2 (1) A juvenile and an immature both in pelagic
Black-browed Albatross: 6 (5) 1 adult inshore in the morning; 4 adults and
an immature in pelagic waters.
Black-browed type Albatross: 1 An adult in with a flock of Shy Albatrosses
near the Hippolyte in the morning.
Shy Albatross: c. 60 (c. 40) c. 40 inshore in the morning; 5 offshore in
the morning; remainder pelagic. Mainly adult *cauta/steadi*. One bird in
juvenile plumage showed a bit of wear around the face and was probably
Indian Yellow-nosed Albatross: 2 (1) One bird in with a large flock of Shy
Albatrosses near the Hippolyte in the morning, another bird offshore in the
Buller’s Albatross: 2 (1) One bird in with a large flock of Shy Albatrosses
near the Hippolyte in the morning; one bird in pelagic waters. Both adult.
Southern Giant Petrel 2 (1) 1 juvenile followed the boat briefly just after
we passed the Hippolytes; 1 juvenile in pelagic waters.
Northern Giant Petrel: 1 juvenile in pelagic waters.
Prion sp.: 1 A bird which looked big-headed and billed in the field made
one quick pass of the boat but wasn’t seen well enough to confirm species
and photographs weren’t clear enough to help. Opinions on the photograph
were divided between Slender-billed Prion and possible Salvin’s type Prion.
SLENDER-BILLED PRION: 2 (1) Both in pelagic waters.
Fairy Prion: c. 170 (c. 100) A flock of c. 150 in inshore waters just
beyond the Hippolyte; a dozen or so offshore in the morning; remainder
Great-winged Petrel: c. 30 (16) First bird encountered just beyond the
Hippolyte in only 55 fathoms – 6 birds offshore in the morning; remainder
WHITE-HEADED PETREL: 3 (2) A few birds gave some nice close views in
Grey-faced Petrel: 2 (2) Pelagic waters.
SOFT-PLUMAGED PETREL: 1 A single bird followed the boat for a short while
just after we started motoring for home.
Common Diving Petrel: 24 (6) Offshore in the morning.
Black-faced Cormorant: 4 (3) Inshore in the morning.
Australasian Gannet: 8 (5) Inshore in the morning.
Silver Gull: c. 60 (c. 30) Inshore in the morning.
Pacific Gull: 4 (2) 2 adults at the heads and 2 on Cheverton Rock in the
Kelp Gull: 19 (8) Inshore in the morning.
Greater Crested Tern: 15 (5) 5 inshore in the morning; 5 offshore in the
morning; 5 pelagic.
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