BirdLife Australia Pelagic Eaglehawk Neck, Tas, 21 Jan 2018

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Subject: BirdLife Australia Pelagic Eaglehawk Neck, Tas, 21 Jan 2018
From: Rohan Clarke <>
Date: Sun, 4 Feb 2018 20:35:25 +0000
Hi all, Here's the second of the two pelagic trip reports for a double 
header that got out off Tassie a fortnight or so ago. Rohan

Sunday 21st Jan 2018

OBSERVERS: Tim Bawden, Antonia Burwell, Chris Burwell, Jo Culican, Gina 
Hopkins, Jodi Osgood, Glen Pacey, Mike Potter, Robert Shore, Andrew 
Walter, Richard Webber, Jim Wright & Rohan Clarke (report compiler).

WEATHER: Complete cloud cover throughout the day, dull and dingy, making 
it tough for photographers. A few patches of very light drizzle. Winds 
were generally light and variable – 5 knot easterly as we headed out, 
building to 10-15 knot north-easterly in offshore waters before dropping 
to 5 knot northerly from 11 am. Mild all day.

SEA: A flat sea on a 0.8 m swell as we headed out, building to a 1m sea 
on a gentle 1-2 m swell. A very comfortable ride with no spray.

ACTIVITY: Departed Pirates Bay Wharf at 0715. Owing to the forecast for 
northerly winds we opted to head to the north and forego the Hippolytes. 
Good numbers of birds in offshore waters with early Buller’s Shearwater 
and Gould’s, Cook’s and Providence Petrels before the shelf to indicate 
a good day ahead. Crossed the shelf break (100 fathoms) at 0850 before 
making our first stop a couple of miles beyond the shelf over 350 
fathoms of water where we berleyed for an hour or so. Later we moved out 
to 500 fathoms for a second berley session (1 hr 20 mins). As often 
happens things got a bit quiet around midday so we shifted back to the 
shelf for a try at a third berley location (40 mins). Crossed back over 
the shelf at 1300 and docked a little before 1500.

MAMMALS:Common Dolphin: A pod of 8 in inshore waters in the AM and 
another 2 in inshore waters in the PM.

Fur Seal sp.: 2 inshore in the AM.

BIRDS: 32 species of seabird beyond the point at Pirates Bay. Highlights 
were a nice selection of great Albatross, a solid list of Pterodroma 
species including good counts of Gould’s and Cook’s Petrel and a nice 
count of Buller's Shearwater. [The jaegers also had the potential to be 
highlights but sadly they only provided distant scrappy views.]

Wandering Albatross (exulens): 2 pelagic.

NZ Wandering Albatross: 8 on plumage. All pelagic, 6 gibsoni and 2 

Southern Royal Albatross: 5 (2). All pelagic.

Northern Royal Albatross: 1 pelagic at the first berley point.

Black-browed Albatross: 1 imm pelagic.

Shy Albatross: 80 (30). cauta/steadi: 1 inshore, 3 offshore, remainder 
pelagic, with good numbers following us back inshore on the return leg. 
1 imm (both pelagic), remainder adult.

Buller’s Albatross: 6 (2). 1 offshore, remainder pelagic. All adults.

Northern Giant-Petrel: 1 imm in pelagic waters followed us around for 
most of the day. Also a distant Giant-Petrel sp. in inshore waters in 
the AM.

Grey-backed Storm-Petrel: 1 offshore in the AM.

White-faced Storm-Petrel: 95 (50). 4 offshore, remainder pelagic.

Wilson’s Storm-Petrel: 10 (4). All pelagic.

Fairy Prion: 22 (8).  1 inshore, 4 offshore, remainder pelagic.

Short-tailed Shearwater: 4500 (1000). Mostly offshore as a steady stream 
of birds around the 60 to 70 fathom mark. Also 600 inshore and 800 pelagic.

Sooty Shearwater: 7 (2). 1 inshore, remainder pelagic.

Hutton’s Shearwater: 6 (2). 2 inshore, 2 offshore, 2 pelagic.

Fluttering Shearwater: 1 inshore in the AM and another inshore in the PM

BULLER’S SHEARWATER: 11 (2). 2 offshore, remainder pelagic. A few nice 
close approaches.

White-chinned Petrel: 30 (12). All pelagic.

Grey-faced Petrel: 4 (1). All pelagic.

PROVIDENCE PETREL: 2 (1). 1 offshore over 76 fathoms, 1 pelagic.

SOFT-PLUMAGED PETREL 2 (1). Both pelagic. Both made nice close approaches.

GOULD’S PETREL: 35 (3). 1 offshore over 78 fathoms, remainder pelagic. 
Mostly fairly distant but a handful made close approaches and a couple 
lingered in the berley trail for 10+ minutes.

COOK’S PETREL: 4 (1). 1 offshore over 76 fathoms, remainder pelagic. One 
made a close approach through the berley trail but the others were a bit 

Common Diving Petrel: 5 (2). 2 inshore, 1 offshore, 2 pelagic.

Australasian Gannet: 3 (2). 2 inshore, 1 pelagic.

Black-faced Cormorant: 10 (5). All inshore

Crested Tern: 15 (10). All inshore.

LONG-TAILED JAEGER: 1 pelagic as we moved between berley points. 
Distant, diagnostic but unsatisfying views.

POMARINE JAEGER: 1 inshore as a distant flyby.

Pacific Gull: 1 ad inshore

Kelp Gull: 5 (2). All inshore.

Silver Gull: 20 (10). 19 inshore, 1 pelagic.

Rohan Clarke

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