Portland Pelagic Trip Report for 16 March 2003

Subject: Portland Pelagic Trip Report for 16 March 2003
From: Mike Carter <>
Date: Fri, 21 Mar 2003 16:52:31 +0000

Portland Vic Pelagic Trip Report 16 March 2003 --- by Rob Farnes

Observers: Rob Farnes (organiser), Peter Barrand, Ivor Graney, Maureen Christie, John Cox, Colin Rogers, Ian Ashton, Kevin Wight, Murray Grant, Adam Rigg, Lee Milway, Steve Clark.  Captain (Richard (Dick) Smith and one crew in the Gerald John a brand new Charter vessel on its inaugural voyage.

Weather: Slight swell inshore, fairly calm at the shelf, wind picked up late afternoon to 5-8 knots.

Activity: Sailed at 0710 h staying close to the coastline until we cleared Cape Nelson, we then motored SW at 15 knots reaching the shelf at 0915 h. 21 N.M. off Cape Bridgewater
Lat 380 32’ 24” Long. 1410 10’ 09”.  Very few birds were encountered so we cruised further west to rendezvous (by prior arrangement) with two trawlers as they hauled in their nets.  Most birds seen for the day were here (approx. 200 albatrosses were feeding on dead fish in the wake of the trawlers) so we cruised up and down the trawl line stopping to burley.  1420 h we started back circumnavigating Lawrence Rocks (LR) on the way and docking (very late) at 1700 h.
Bird numbers and species were well down on expectations with 19 sps recorded outside Portland Harbour.


Great-winged Petrel two 7 km before the shelf, small numbers over the shelf up to six at one stop.

Fairy Prion 1 offshore, 3 pelagic.

Flesh-footed Shearwater small numbers all pelagic up to five at one stop.

Short-tailed Shearwater small numbers mainly offshore.

Fluttering Shearwater 3 offshore.

Fluttering/Hutton’s 4 pelagic.

Wandering Albatross 1 stage 6 & 1 juv.

Royal Albatross 1 young southern royal (epomophora).

Black-browed Albatross at least 4 offshore, 50 pelagic both melanophris and impavida.

Shy Albatross 2 offshore, 80 pelagic and 1 race salvini.

Yellow-nosed Albatross 12 offshore, 50 pelagic.

White-faced Storm-Petrel 2 offshore, at least 12 pelagic.

Australasian Gannet: 1,000’s at LR & Pt. Danger, 2 Ads & 1 Imm pelagic.

Black-faced Cormorant: approx. 60 LR.

White-faced Heron: 1 LR.

White-bellied Sea-Eagle: two imm. LR.

Sooty Oystercatcher: 1 LR.

Arctic Jaeger 1 offshore.

Silver Gull small flocks inshore.

Crested Tern 400 roosting on LR, small number offshore & pelagic.

MAMMALS: Several Australian Fur Seals and two distant whale sightings (may have been Blue Whales vertical spout).

 Rob Farnes (03)55271650.

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