Southport Pelagic 20th November 04.

To: "Birding-aus" <>
Subject: Southport Pelagic 20th November 04.
From: "Paul Walbridge" <>
Date: Mon, 29 Nov 2004 19:59:03 +1000
Hi Birding-aussers, below is the delayed report for weekend before last pelagic;
Location: Southport, QLD, Australia.
Vessel: 53ft Monohull, 'Flying Fish II'.
Crew: 2.
Observers: 15.
Weather Conditions: A slow moving High over the Tasman Sea brought NE winds to 15 knots onto the SEQ coast, with a trough moving up from the south bringing stronger SE winds later in the day. Skies mostly overcast with occasional sunny periods with some squally showers later in the day, when approaching the coast. Maximum temperature 28 C. Barometric pressure 1020 hPa.
Sea Conditions: Calm seas on up to 1 metre swell early, on leaving the Seaway. Wide out at drift point, seas flat on gentle swell with the wind dying to some extent. With the SE change later in the afternoon seas gradually rising to 1.5 metres on a 1 metre swell. Sea-surface temperature, 21.5 C inshore & 25.75 C at the Shelf-break and at widest point. Current out wide running at 3 knots.
Departed from the Seaway at 0700 hrs & with little outside the entrance headed directly out. Roughly an hour out & the first of several parties of Short-tailed Shearwaters started passing through, heading south. Normally, this would be a promising sign but not today. We missed out on the October trip & consequently peak migration (see Milburns' report). Reached the Shelf-break at 0900 hrs with just a Sooty Tern and a few Wedge-tailed Shearwaters starting to appear, there were however several Short-taileds still passing directly through in reasonable numbers.
Settled at the drift-point at 0935 hrs with one or two Wedge-taileds milling around in the very still conditions, not conducive to good sea-birding. With the off-loading of some shark liver it wasn't long before the first Tahiti Petrel came moseying in. After a while a few Flesh-footed Shearwaters started to appear & even one or two Short-taileds broke away from the packs and stayed for a feed. The wind had really died by now, the scent of the chum wasn't carrying & the birds were starting to labour in the conditions. Probably the most exciting occurence was the presence throughout most of the drift of a 3 metre+ Oceanic White-tipped Shark. A denizen of warm current, deep water it was a new one for most onboard.
Headed back to shore at 1230 hrs and with the wind starting to shift to the SE encountered increasing numbers of Short-tailed Shearwaters, close in on the Shelf. A very quiet day, not helped by the still conditions out wide.
Tahiti Petrel - 20 (7)
Wedge-tailed Shearwater - 69 (16)
Flesh-footed Shearwater - 27 (12)
Short-tailed Shearwater - 1183 (600)
Pomarine Jaeger - 1
Crested - 9
Sooty Tern - 5 (4)
Next pelagic is on the 18th December, with several vacancies. Cheers - Paul Walbridge.
Contact Paul Walbridge;
PH (H) 61 7 3391 8839  (W) 61 7 3350 8258
Birding-Aus is now on the Web at
To unsubscribe from this mailing list, send the message
'unsubscribe birding-aus' (no quotes, no Subject line)
<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>
  • Southport Pelagic 20th November 04., Paul Walbridge <=

The University of NSW School of Computer and Engineering takes no responsibility for the contents of this archive. It is purely a compilation of material sent by many people to the birding-aus mailing list. It has not been checked for accuracy nor its content verified in any way. If you wish to get material removed from the archive or have other queries about the archive e-mail Andrew Taylor at this address: andrewt@cse.unsw.EDU.AU