Port Fairy, VIC, Pelagic Trip Report, 4 March 2001
Observers: Rohan Clarke, Chris Lester,
Maarten Hulzebosch, Richard Loyn, Neil Macumber, Geoff Walker, Peter Crabtree,
Ken Burrage, Jan Smith (USA), Jack Barkla, Harry Zawacki and Mike Carter.
Weather: A ridge of high pressure had
unexpectedly moved south to span N. Tasmania exposing us to stronger than
Fine: mostly cloudy but bright in a.m., mostly sunny in p.m.:
Wind: S.E.: Fresh at first inshore; moderate beyond
shelf-break. Strong inshore, (reinforced by sea breeze), in p.m.
Sea: Rough on 2 m swell inshore; moderate
Thus it was a very bumpy ride. In spite of this there were only two
cases of seasickness, both brief and mild. Mind you, a few others were a little
Activity: Sailed @ 07.10. Headed out SSW @ 12Kts. Paused and
berleyed for 20 minutes halfway out. Crossed shelf-break (100 fathoms = 180 m) @
10.25. Beyond shelf, berleyed with shark liver at three sites within 2.7 Nm (5
km) of 38º51’S, 141º50’E. Greatest depth >300 f. Greatest distance reached
was c.75 km from Port Fairy (55 km offshore). Headed in @ 13.00. Cruised W &
S shores of Lady Julia Percy Island (LJPI) from 15.00 to 15.30. Docked @
Mammals: Common Dolphins, 4 pelagic. Bottle-nosed
Dolphins, c. 10 @ LJPI. Australian Fur Seals, one pelagic &1,000’s at the
colony on LJPI.
Birds: 20 species of seabird beyond the river mouth
was slightly fewer than anticipated. The highlight was a Gould’s Petrel
which was around for about 15 minutes & came to within 10 m of the boat.
Our only previous record was ten years and two weeks ago. We also had excellent
views of 2 White-chinned Petrels. Most listed below were beyond the shelf
(i.e. pelagic) unless noted otherwise.
Little Penguin; 2 on LJPI.
N. Giant Petrel; 1. In spite of its proximity (2 m) produced
the usual ID debate.
Great-winged Petrel; 50 (30), (20 gouldi, 30
macroptera). Hungry and tame.
berley was slopping over, this and some other species, followed us in to within
10 km of LJPI.
Gould’s Petrel; 1.
Fairy Prion; 4 (4). Offshore.
White-chinned Petrel; 2 (2).
Flesh-footed Shearwater; 25 (20). One offshore.
Short-tailed Shearwater; 3000 (200), Most inshore, many
offshore & 10 pelagic.
Newly fledged young at sea. A good
supply of krill and an abundance of “sardines”, (“more than in living memory”),
should give them a good start.
Hutton’s Shearwater; 1 inshore.
Fluttering Shearwater; 10 (3), mostly inshore.
Wandering Albatross; 4. One stage 1 exulans. One st. 5
gibsoni. One st. 3 perhaps antipodensis & one st. 2. The first
three very tame.
Black-browed Albatross; 45 (30) all melanophris.
Shy Albatross; 22 (10).
Yellow-nosed Albatross; 25 (13).
White-faced Storm-Petrel; 8 (4) mostly offshore.
Australasian Gannet; 50 (30), only 4 pelagic.
Black-faced Cormorant; 3 on LJPI.
Kelp Gull; 20 on LJPI.
Silver Gull; c.50 on LJPI & 10 elsewhere inshore.
Crested Tern; 26 (10), only 4 pelagic.
NOTE the absence of Jaegers. They have been very scarce
in Victoria this year, particularly Arctic’s, most noticeably in Port Phillip