Port Fairy pelagic 12 Aug.

Subject: Port Fairy pelagic 12 Aug.
From: "Mike Carter" <>
Date: Tue, 14 Aug 2001 14:37:59 +1000

Port Fairy (PF), VIC, Pelagic Trip Report, 12 August 2001

Observers: Peter Lansley, Chris Lester, Euan Fothergill, Neil Macumber, Peter Crabtree, Rob & Gail Berry, Bill & Shirley Ramsay, Gina Hopkins, Alan Clarke, Keith Betton (UK) and Mike Carter (leader).

Weather: A large, strong, high-pressure system was centred over Victoria. It was a very pleasant day, mostly sunny with some thin cloud. Cool to mild. Wind: 7-12 Kt SW.

Sea: Slight to choppy on a 2 m SW swell. Thus there was a little spray at times. Although not a gentle ride, it wasn’t too uncomfortable. One passenger succumbed to motion sickness and at least another briefly.

Activity: Sailed @ 07.15. Headed out SSW @ 12.7 Kts. Apart from some inshore, few birds were encountered on the way out. We stopped to berley with shark liver and sliced couta at three locations within a 5 km radius of 38*50’S 141*51’E (c. 60 km SSW of PF) over depths from 216 to 334 fathoms between 10.05 and 13.00. On way in, cruised W & S shores of Lady Julia Percy Island (LJPI) from 15.15 to 15.45. From LJPI to PF was slower than usual as we saw some interesting birds on this stretch. Docked @ 17.00.

Mammals:  Apart from 1,000’s of Australian Fur Seals at LJPI (none elsewhere) the only mammals were two distant Bottle-nosed Dolphins just east of the mouth of the River Moyne at PF.

Birds:  A pleasant, entertaining and interesting day with the highlight being a very photogenic juvenile Northern Royal Albatross over the deep water. Although it didn’t settle, it made several close passes. 21 species of seabird identified beyond the river mouth indicated above average diversity.

Unless noted otherwise, most listed below were in pelagic waters.

Little Penguin: 7. 1 pelagic (unusual that far out). 2 on sea at LJPI & 4 twixt there and PF. Also 6 dead, 5 near LJPI, floating on the sea. Two pulled aboard were emaciated.

Common Diving-Petrel: 3, inshore off PF.

S. Giant Petrel: 2 inshore.

Great-winged Petrel: 30 (20), all macroptera.

Slender-billed Prion: 1.

Fairy Prion: 2 (1).

Sooty Shearwater: 2.

Fluttering Shearwater: 23 (20). 22 inshore and 1 pelagic.

Hutton’s Shearwater: 1.

Wandering Albatross: 1 exulans stage 5/6 on sea inshore off PF.

Northern Royal Albatross: 1 juv.

Black-browed Albatross: 60 (20). 59 melanophris (only 8 pelagic, 50 inshore, an unusual distribution), 1 impavida  (pelagic). Most were resting on the sea between LJPI and PF in the p.m. Since the sea here was littered with cuttlebones we assumed they had been feeding on cuttlefish.

Shy Albatross: cauta 80 (35) (all areas but mostly pelagic).

Yellow-nosed Albatross: 45 (35), all pelagic where more abundant than Black-browed.

Australasian Gannet: 115 (60).

Black-faced Cormorant: 3 including a juv. on LJPI.

Great Skua: 1.

Kelp Gull: 3 adults on LJPI.

Silver Gull: 18, 12 on LJPI & 6 inshore.

Crested Tern: 17 (4). All areas.

White-fronted Tern: 4, 1 pelagic & 3 at LJPI. Only one was a first-year bird. One adult had almost assumed full breeding plumage including the elongated outer tail streamers.

     On LJPI, we could also see 1 Swamp Harrier, 1 Nankeen Kestrel, 5 Sooty Oystercatchers and several Welcome Swallows.

    As we left PF in the a.m., 2 Cattle Egrets passed over heading out to sea! 

Mike Carter
30 Canadian Bay Road
Mt Eliza   Vic    3930
03 9787 7136


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