Subject: BA-VIC PORT FAIRY PELAGIC 11.12.2005
From: "Mike Carter" <>
Date: Mon, 12 Dec 2005 21:54:08 +1100
SUMMARY: An eventful trip, rugged at times, but with a good variety of 
interesting fauna. The main highlight was a COOKS PETREL, photographed by Rohan 
Clarke. This is the third we've seen here. I've just heard that both previous 
records, on 1 December 2002 and 1 February 2004, have been accepted by BARC and 
are therefore the first confirmed sight records for Australia. Other highlights 
included a SPERM WHALE, an obliging WHITE-HEADED PETREL and a BLUE SHARK 
circling the boat. The latter was caught.

OBSERVERS: Rod Bird, Rohan Clarke, Bob & Sadhana Cook, Peter Crabtree, Giles 
Daubeney, Brian Johnston, Frank Pierce, Phil & Lyn Tubb, Andrew Wells, & Mike 
Carter (leader & reporter).

WEATHER: A narrow (high-pressure) ridge was centred over western Victoria with 
troughs on each side. It was mild, cloudless with excellent visibility. 
Initially inshore, we had a N breeze of 5 Kts which gradually veered to the SE 
and strengthened throughout the day. Offshore it reached 15-20 Kts beyond the 
shelf before moderating a little but by mid-afternoon, as we travelled home to 
PF from Lady Julia Percy Island (LJPI), we were subjected to a near 20 Kt SE 

SEA:  Initially slight (< 0.5 m) on a low, 1.0 m, SW swell inshore, 1.5 m 
offshore, but wind induced wave height increased to perhaps 1.5 m offshore and 
again inshore in late afternoon. Actually it was quite a pleasant ride going 
out as the wind and waves were on the stern but whilst stationary berleying on 
the shelf there was some instability and substantial rolls. Also the journey 
coming in from pelagic waters to LJPI was reasonably comfortable as by then the 
wind was from the SE with a following component. No observations were possible 
on the last leg from LJPI to PF   as the boat was shrouded in a curtain of 
spray. No one was sick.

ACTIVITY: Sailed from Port Fairy (38º23'18"S 142º14'30"E) at 07.05 EDST. We 
went out on our usual course of 205º at 14.0 Kts, our journey to pelagic waters 
being uninterrupted until at 09.30 we stopped in 258 fathoms @ 38º49.0'S 
141º53.4'E. At first birds were slow to appear but gradually our shark-liver 
and fish berley attracted a variety of birds. At 10.15 we moved to deeper 
water. On reaching 38º52.1'S 141º49.3'E, at the edge of a deep canyon or 
'hole', we berleyed from 10.45 to 11.50. Then from 12.15 to 13.00 we again 
berleyed, now at 38º48.5'S 141º47.9'E where the depth is 160 fathoms. Enroute 
back to PF, we cruised the western and northern shores of LJPI. Docked at 


SPERM WHALE: At least one over the 600 fathom 'hole' downwind of 38º52.1'S 

Common Dolphin: Two pods, each of c.10, were where krill coloured the water 
around the 36 fathom depth at 38º40.0'S 142º01.3'E.

Australian Fur Seals: Only 2-3 singles away from LJPI where there were 

BIRDS: 24 species (26 taxa) of seabird observed beyond the river mouth 
indicated about average diversity. Unless noted otherwise, all listed below 
were near or beyond the shelf break (i.e. pelagic). Highlights are in capitals.

Little Penguin: 3. 2 ashore @ LJPI  & 1 inshore.

N. GIANT PETREL: 2 (2) juvs.

Great-winged Petrel: 120 (60). Most were race gouldi but nominate macroptera 

seen. Normally not in shelf waters, first seen at 55 fathoms with 7 from 

there to the shelf break. 30, attracted by unused berley slopping overboard

from its container, followed us in, some to LJPI.

WHITE-HEADED PETREL: 1 came to the berley at the stern.

COOK'S PETREL: 1 showed itself well albeit briefly.

Fairy Prion: 4 (2).

WHITE-CHINNED PETREL: 2 (1) very photogenic.

Flesh-footed Shearwater: 35 (10). 5 inshore, 10 offshore & 20 pelagic.

Sooty Shearwater: 2 (1).

Short-tailed Shearwater: 260 (200). 230 inshore, 20 offshore & 10 pelagic.

Fluttering Shearwater: 2 (1) inshore.

Wilson's Storm-Petrel: 2 (1).


White-faced Storm-Petrel: 1

Wandering Albatross: 11 (6) all gibsoni, stages 1(3), 3(1), 4(3), 5(2) & 6(2).

One was banded metal on left leg & black darvic on right inscribed O8A.


Black-browed Albatross: 18 (7). Melanophrys: 17.  3 inshore, 1 off & 14 pelagic.

16 sub-ads & 1 adult. Impavida: 1 sub-adult.

Shy Albatross cauta: 35 (10). 3 inshore, 12 off & 20 pel. 15 sub-ads & 20 ads.

Yellow-nosed Albatross: 10 (3). All sub-adults. 2 inshore, 2 off & 6 pelagic.

Australasian Gannet: 140 (30). 40 inshore, 100 off & 1 pelagic.

Black-faced Cormorant: 11 on LJPI.

KELP GULL: 35 all ages, on LJPI.

Silver Gull: 51. 50 on LJPI, some sitting on nests & 1 inshore.

Crested Tern: 36. 30 on LJPI, 4 inshore & 2 pelagic

Mike Carter
Canadian Bay Road
Mt Eliza    VIC     3930
Ph:  (03) 9787 7136
Birding-Aus is 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>
  • BA-VIC PORT FAIRY PELAGIC 11.12.2005, Mike Carter <=

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