Fwd: The Birds Australia - Victoria Pelagics from Port Fairy - Prelimina

To: birding aus <>
Subject: Fwd: The Birds Australia - Victoria Pelagics from Port Fairy - Preliminary Notice for 2007
From: Russell Woodford <>
Date: Fri, 12 May 2006 15:51:21 +1000
From Chris Lester:

Dear Birding-Ausers,

I am continuing as organiser for the Birds Australia - Victoria Pelagics from Port Fairy through 2007. Mike Carter remains the bird leader on the boat.

Normally, a Port Fairy boat trip is organised for the first Sunday of each month (with some exceptions). Because of the fickle nature of the weather in the Southern Ocean resulting in conditions that will be too rough or dangerous, many trips are postponed to the second Sunday of the month (again with some exceptions). If that second trip does not go, the trip for that month is then cancelled.

Each trip can only accommodate 13 people. There is a waiting list established when a trip is fully booked because, for various reasons, we have people who have to pull out, often at the last moment. This occurs particularly if a trip is postponed as many people have already made other plans for the next weekend. The cost of the trip is in the order of $80-90, depending on the number of people on the boat - of course, it is dearer if we don't fill the boat as the hire cost is divided between the sea-birders.

While we don't insist on it, it helps if you are a member of Birds Australia, given the recent closer association between these boat trips and Birds Australia. As well, we have decided to reserve two of the 13 places on the boat for people who have never been out before (or have been out only once). Therefore, please let me know if you are a BA member and/or some-one who has not been out before.

So, from noon on 14 July 2006, I am starting taking bookings for the 2007 trips. To make a booking, e-mails with a 14 July date after noon are necessary. Places on the boat from Port Fairy have been at a premium for the last couple of years, so I expect demand for 2007 to remain high. In the last two years, the boat filled up very quickly for all 2005 and 2006 trips soon after I put the notices on Birding-Aus. So, please do not expect to be able to get on specific trips with any degree of confidence. Some flexibility in sending your bookings would be much appreciated. Please also indicate whether you are prepared to go on a waiting list if you can't get on the trip you want.

The dates for trips in 2007 are as follows. (If the trip is postponed, then the second attempt will occur on the date in brackets.)

14 January
4 February  (11 February)
4 March  (18 March)
1 April  (15 April)
6 May  (13 May)
3 June  (17 June)
1 July  (8 July)
5 August  (12 August)
2 September  (9 September)
7 October (21 October)
11 November  (18 November)
9 December  (16 December)

When you get on a trip, you have a number of responsibilities. No later than a week before the trip date, you are expected to confirm with me that you are still OK to go. (If you don't do this, you may lose your place.) As the weather is the major factor in whether the trip proceeds, you must contact me on the Friday evening before the trip to confirm that it is actually on - after 7.30 pm, please. My contact number at home is 03 9370 7418.

If you are a waiting list, I will contact you if a vacancy appears. However, you can contact me at any time to check whether I expect any possibility for you to actually get on the boat.

Melbourne people usually travel down to Port Fairy on the Saturday afternoon and return on Sunday after the boat trip. I try to arrange rides for those that need them (especially from Melbourne), although there are no guarantees. I can normally arrange comfortable and inexpensive accommodation in Port Fairy, as well as a Saturday evening meal at a local pub.

For the boat trip, we leave early (between 6 and 7, depending on the season) and return latish (at about 4). As well as the obvious binoculars and cameras, you need to take warm clothes, protection from wet weather, food and drink and some sort of seasickness prevention medication. (Many people have decided not to bother with the latter and have found that it is a very long day if they are sick.)

What will we see? That depends on many factors, including the season, the weather just before the trip and on the day, el Nino / la Nina, whether the birds are hungry or not ...................... and luck. But, Port Fairy is an excellent place for albatrosses, various petrels / storm-petrels / giant-petrels, several shearwaters and some terns and skuas. And, over the years, a good number of rarities. You can check out what has been seen previously by looking at our trip reports under "Port Fairy" (and "Portland") on the Birding-Aus archive.

If you have any other queries, please contact me.



N.B. The remaining 2006 trips are well and truly booked out, but I still maintain waiting lists for them. I often get a number of cancellations, so if you want to be on the 2006 waiting list, please let me know.

I will not be starting the 2008 bookings until July 2007.


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