birding-aus Perth Pelagic 5th September 1999

Subject: birding-aus Perth Pelagic 5th September 1999
From: "Frank O'Connor" <>
Date: Sun, 05 Sep 1999 23:53:55 +0800

Participants (22) :
Frank O'Connor (organiser), Des Agnew, Pam Agnew, Hazel Darnell, John
Darnell, Ricky Fairhead, Michael Mathieson (Qld), Bill McAtee, Roger
McGovern, Dave Odell (UK), Tony Palliser (NSW), Frank Platell, Ian Puckrin
(NSW), Ian Reid (UK), Chris Reidy, Diane Reidy, Bill Rutherford, Wladyslaw
Sarafin, Nigel Sutherland, Roger Sutherland, Robert Wilton, Alex Watson

Conditions :
Departed Hillarys Boat Harbour at 7.00am - returned at 3.15pm. The forecast
was for a 0.8 metre sea on a 2.5 to 3 metre swell dropping, after 100 kph
southerly gales on Thursday and early Friday had created 4.5 metre swells.
The day was fine with a cold minimum of 4 degrees as we left and a forecast
maximum of 18 degrees. The forecast wind was 5 to 8 knots from the north
east, switching to 8 to 12 knots from the south west. The day was very flat
with very little wind.

Description :

This was an excellent trip although there were very few petrels early. The
highlight were repeated views of an Arctic Tern plus a possible Minke Whale.
The shearwaters had returned early as well as a couple of semi distant
Roseate Terns. Two sightings of Humpback Whale were other highlights.

The day started out slowly as usual with two Great Skuas, a few Australasian
Gannets and a Yellow-nosed Albatross as we headed to Rottnest. An unusual
sighting was four Galahs flying towards Rottnest plus a few flying fish. The
first stop was for three Humpback Whale close to Rottnest. There were good
numbers of Yellow-nosed Albatross as we passed Rottnest and we saw our first
Shy Albatross, plus a couple of Roseate Terns.

As we approached the west end of Rottnest we saw some Wedge-tailed
Shearwaters and our first Flesh-footed Shearwaters which were common
throughout the day. An adult Fairy Tern flew over the boat with two more
semi distant.

We headed west seeing more Shy Albatross and the first Great-winged Petrels
although the latter did not come as close as usual. We headed towards a
large flock of birds which included many Flesh-footed Shearwaters,
Australasian Gannets and Yellow-nosed Albatross. We began to burley with
lamb fat, pilchards, chicken pellets, pollard and fish oil which brought in
a few birds including the first Black-browed Albatross which did not stay long.

We headed west looking for petrels and stopped in over 500 metres depth but
only attracted one Soft-plumaged Petrel. Black-browed Albatross became more
common. We stopped a couple more times before some petrels finally came in
including the first Cape Petrels and White-faced Storm-Petrels. We stopped
for lunch just after midday which proved to be the best stop of the day with
eight Cape Petrels, six Black-browed Albatross and the highlight of the day
an Arctic Tern. It flew around the boat a number of times giving
opportunities for photographs.

We headed back for Hillarys with a stop for a whale that may have been a
Minke Whale. Notes were taken. It circled the boat a couple of times and
gave good views.

It was an incredibly calm day given the storms only 48 hours earlier. The
numbers of petrels were lower than expected but we saw many albatross
including more Shy and Black-browed Albatross and the range of species was
the best of any previous trip.

Thanks to the skipper Trevor and the deck hand Dave.

Time/Latitude/Longitude/Depth/Distance/Bearing of most stoppages:
07:05 S31° 49' 34", E115° 44' 16", 6m, 0.0km, 0° (Hillarys Wharf)
08:15 S31° 58' 24", E115° 28' 14", ??m, 30.0km, 240° (Humpback Whales)
08:30 S32° 00' 02", E115° 26' 10", 45m, 34.4km, 238° (stopped until 08:45)
09:00 S32° 00' 35", E115° 20' 34", 98m, 42.5km, 244°
09:20 S32° 00' 08", E115° 14' 49", 155m, 50.2km, 250° (Bottle-nosed Dolphins)
09:40 S32° 00' 03", E115° 10' 23", 500+m, 56.7km, 252° (stopped until 10:05)
10:20 S31° 59' 51", E115° 07' 18", 530m, 61.1km, 254° (stopped until 10:50)
11:10 S31° 55' 45", E115° 07' 22", 500+m, 59.1km, 261° (stopped until 11:35)
12:05 S31° 52' 34", E115° 05' 18", 350m, 61.5km, 267° (stopped until 13:15)

Bird List (Christidis & Boles order) :
Cape Petrel 16 (8)
Great-winged Petrel 15 (3)
Soft-plumaged Petrel 15 (3)
Wedge-tailed Shearwater 10 (5)
Flesh-footed Shearwater 200+ (80)
Black-browed Albatross 15 (6)
Shy Albatross 9 (2)
Yellow-nosed Albatross (race bassi) 185 (55)
White-faced Storm-Petrel 7 (4)
Australasian Gannet 50 (30)
Great Skua 6 (3)
Silver Gull 40 (20)
Crested Tern 25 (20)
Roseate Tern 2 (2)
Arctic Tern 1 (1)
Fairy Tern 3 (3)

Little Pied Cormorant harbour
Little Black Cormorant harbour
Pied Cormorant outside harbour
Silver Gull harbour
Galah (4)
Willie Wagtail harbour
Welcome Swallow (2) harbour

Mammal List :
Bottle-nosed Dolphin (6)
Humpback Whale (4)
Minke? Whale (1)
Australian Sea-lion (3) Little Island

Next Trip :
The next trips will be April/May, late June and late August 2000. For
details contact Frank O'Connor on 08 9386 5694 or email 
Frank O'Connor
8C Hardy Road
Nedlands  WA  6009
Phone : +61 8 9386 5694
ICQ : 14655047
Email : 
Birding WA

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