birding-aus Portland Pelagic Trip Report 4 July 1999

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Subject: birding-aus Portland Pelagic Trip Report 4 July 1999
From: "O'Brien, Rory" <>
Date: Thu, 8 Jul 1999 17:37:44 +1000

Portland Pelagic Trip Report 4 July 1999 (Recorded by Mike Carter)
Victoria, Portland 38 21'S 141 26'E.
Those on board: Mike Carter(leader), Peter Lansley, Rory O'Brien, Phil Maher, Steve Davidson, Chris Lester, Murray Grant, Ian Ashton, John Grant (Cairns), David Webb (NSW), Peter Crabtree, Michel Chapuisat (Swiss).

Vessel: Michael J. IV (11.1 m). Skipper: Howard Willoughby, Owner/Decky: Garry Roberts.

Weather: Fine; mostly sunny but dull early due to 3/8 cloud cover. Cool. NW wind <10 knts at first inshore, rising to 15 knts, gusting to 20 beyond shelf-break. Sea: Low chop in Bay. Slight, inshore rising to moderate beyond shelf on low swell. Much spray and jerky movement.

Activity: Sailed 07.20; Docked 16.00. Out E. of Lawrence Rocks at 07.50 (sunrise)  towards SW (225 deg.) at 12 knts. Paused 09.00 to 09.10 at 38 32'S, 141 28'E and berleyed for Bullers Albatross. Crossed shelf-break at 10.00 and diverted to two trawlers arriving 10.15; to 11.15 berleying in 200 fathoms at 38 41.6'S, 141 20.8'E (at start). Then moved SW to join 3rd trawler (c.2 miles) and berleyed again. Headed in at 13.15 from 38 43.8 'S, 141 24.4'E in 230 fathoms. Paused at Lawrence Rocks. Berley was shark liver and meat fat.

(numbers in brackets= highest count at any one time)
Scarce in bay, inshore and offshore. Albatross abundant at trawler hauling site. Total of 25 species.

Wandering Albatross  1 (stage 1, juvenile); pelagic.
Black-browed Albatross  200 (150); 50 impavida. 2 bay; 5 inshore; 10 offshore;         183 pelagic;  5 juv.; 25 sub-ads; 170 adults. Proportionately more young birds inshore.

BULLERS ALBATROSS 4 (2); 1 offshore; 3 pelagic. All adults of southern race. Photos.
Yellow-nosed Albatross   9 (5); 1 inshore; 8 pelagic. 1 juv.,1 sub-ad., 8 adults.
Shy Albatross                   250 (200); 2 inshore, 13 offshore, 235 pelagic. 2 juvs., 48 sub-ad., 200 adults. One adult had bright red leg-band (new looking).

Salvin's Albatross               1 near adult plumage; pelagic. Photos.
Grey-headed Albatross        1 pelagic. In flight, only seen by Maher and Carter. 1st or 2nd year bird.
Northern Giant-Petrel         2 (2); juv., pelagic.
Southern Giant-Petrel         1 pelagic, juv. Photos.
Giant-Petrel sp.?                 4; 1 bay, 1 inshore, 1 offshore, 1 pelagic.  
Cape Petrel                         30 (20); All apparently australe, pelagic.
Great-winged Petrel             15 (8); All nominate race, pelagic.
BLUE PETREL                  2 (2); pelagic. Photos.
Antarctic Prion                    2 (2); pelagic. Large size, long tail, strong collar, tail pattern etc.
Slender-billed Prion             7 (5); pelagic. Spot on tail upper, line under, bold supercilium. Photos.
Fairy Prion                         20 (15); pelagic.
Prion sp.?                               5 offshore.
Sooty Shearwater                2 (1); pelagic.
Fluttering Shearwater            1 inshore in a.m and p.m.
Grey-backed Storm-Petrel     6 (4); pelagic.
Australasian Gannet              8000 on or near Lawrence Rocks and Pt. Danger, 2 offshore and 1 pelagic.
Great Skua                            7 (7) harassing gannets near Lawrence Rocks (2 in a.m and 7 in p.m).
Silver Gull                           20 (15); 3 bay and 15 on Lawrence Rocks; 2 inshore a.m and p.m.
White-fronted Tern               1 pelagic.
Crested Tern                        10 (5); 1 bay; 5 offshore; 4 pelagic.
Black-faced Cormorant        28 on Lawrence Rocks in p.m (1 bay a.m).
Pacific Gull                             4 in harbour.

Mammals: Fur Seals      3 ; on Lawrence Rocks & 1 inshore & harbour.

Future Trips: Portland Pelagics depart on the 1st Sunday of the month, from Portland (weather permitting). Next trip is 1 Aug. 1999 (fully booked), but reserve positions available. If postponed to 8 Aug. , places may be available. Contact Mike  Carter ph. (03)-9787-7136 for bookings.

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