Pelagic trip of Port Fairy, Victoria 13 May 2006

Subject: Pelagic trip of Port Fairy, Victoria 13 May 2006
From: "R Clarke" <>
Date: Sun, 14 May 2006 17:57:23 +1000

This was an additional trip initially put on for staff at Birds Australia.

OBSERVERS: Ian Hance, Rob Clemens, Andrew Silcocks, Dean Ingwersen
(organiser), Mark Antos, Glen Ehmke, Chris Coleborn, Tom Wheeler, David
Parker, Murray Gunn, Rob Bird, Adam Rigg & Rohan Clarke (leader/organiser).

WEATHER: Conditions were overcast and dull with 100% cloud cover for much of
the day. The only exception was a brief break in the cloud (to about 80%
cloud cover) around 10 am. Generally good visibility but very dull and thus
limited opportunities for photography. Cool. Westerly wind around 10-15
knots on the way out increasing to 20 knots near the shelf and remaining at
this throughout the remainder of the day.

SEA: 2-3 m confused swell with heavy 1-1.5 m chop made for bumpy conditions,
especially as we were punching into it on the way out. We had significant
spray on both the outbound and inbound legs, which necessitated the lowering
of one side screen. For a change the final hour, from Lady Julia Percy to
Port Fairy, was by far the most comfortable. Three punters seasick.

ACTIVITY: This was an additional trip initially put on for staff at Birds
Australia. Sailed at 0735 EST. Headed directly to the shelf break with one
short stop over 88 fathoms for a Soft-plumaged Petrel. There was a
reasonable number of albatross in inshore waters, with the usual lull
between here and deeper offshore waters. Numbers of birds (including prions)
in offshore waters increased after the 70 fathom mark, in part because the
heavy spray and pitching boat action meant some berley was being spilled.
Several small patches of krill were visible at the sea surface around 80
fathoms. Crossed the shelf break (100 fathoms) at 1020.  We stopped and
berleyed with shark liver at three locations, first at 38º49.15?S
141º54.48?E, then at 38º51.82?S 141º50.69?E and finally at 38º49.11?S
141º50.75?E before heading back in at 1300. We cruised the shores of Lady
Julia Percy Island between 1450 and 1515 before docking at around 1620.

MAMMALS: 1,000?s of Australian Fur Seals at LJPI. Also ~4 at sea including
one pelagic at the last berley point. Two yearlings on LJPI were separately
entangled in heavy blue and green nylon netting.
No cetaceans.

BIRDS: 25 species beyond the river mouth indicated very good diversity.
Highlights were the three species of prion, close approaches by three
different Sooty Albatross and two Soft-plumaged Petrels. Good numbers of
storm-petrels were also nice. The total absence of Short-tailed Shearwaters
came as a surprise.

Little Penguin:  1 inshore on the return leg. None seen on LJPI.

Great-winged Petrel: 40 (15). all nominate race.

Cape Petrel: 2 (2)

SOFT-PLUMAGED PETREL: 2. One over 88 fathoms and then 15 minutes later one
at the first berley point. At the time assumed to be the same individual,
however photographs demonstrate two birds were involved.

Fairy Prion: 95 (30) most over krill patches in offshore waters. Beyond the
shelf we attracted a maximum of 10.


ANTARCTIC PRION: 2 (2) photographs support ID.

Northern Giant-Petrel: 2 immature birds at 2nd and 3rd berley points

Common Diving Petrel: 1 inshore in am, a further 2 inshore in pm.

Wandering Albatross: 5 individuals on plumage; at least 2 gibsoni + 1
exulens beyond the shelf. In offshore waters a juvenile (stage 1) followed
the boat for 10 or so minutes on the return leg.

Black-browed Albatross: nom. race 40 (15) 30 pelagic, 9 offshore, 1 inshore,
mostly adults but 4 imms pelagic: impavida, 10 (4) mostly adults but 1 imm,
all pelagic.

Shy Albatross all cauta: 100 (30). 2 inshore, 30 offshore remainder pelagic.

Yellow-nosed Albatross: 15 (4). 4 inshore, 4 offshore remainder pelagic.

SOOTY ALBATROSS: 3. 2 different immature birds (on plumage) and 1 adult all
at 1st berley point.

White-faced Storm-Petrel: 8 (3) all pelagic.

GREY-BACKED STORM-PETREL: 30 (15) all pelagic though one followed us back
almost to LJPI.

Wilson?s Storm-Petrel: 70 (25), 2 offshore in am, the remainder pelagic,
though at least 3 followed back almost to LJPI.

Hutton?s Shearwater: 2 inshore in am.

Fluttering Shearwater: 1 offshore in pm.

Australasian Gannet: 20 (10), 7 inshore, 10 offshore, 3 pelagic. 3 juvs near
LJPI remainder adult.

Kelp Gull: 12 on LJPI.

Silver Gull: 25 on LJPI and 6 inshore.

White-fronted Tern: 1 pelagic.

Crested Tern: 12 (4). Mostly inshore but 2 pelagic. None on LJPI.

Black-faced Cormorant: 1 on the sea between LJIP and Port Fairy on the
return leg. None on LJPI.

On LJPI Sooty Oystercatcher (1), Welcome Swallow (6+) and Starling rounded
out the list.

The BA monthly trip scheduled for today (Sunday 14th May) was cancelled due
to windier than expected conditions.


Rohan Clarke

Search for local singles online @ Lavalife - Click here


To unsubscribe from this mailing list,
send the message:
(in the body of the message, with no Subject line)

<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>

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