Some remote-area pelagic trips in the Australasian region

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Subject: Some remote-area pelagic trips in the Australasian region
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Date: Wed, 12 Aug 2009 21:06:13 +1000
Hi All,

There are three remote-area pelagic trips in the Australasian region scheduled to take place before the end of the 2009. Given there are spots available on all of them and each trip is visiting sites that would be all but impossible to get to on your own, I reckon they're worth a mention here.

1) Ashmore Reef ex Broome WA, 27 October - 3 November 2009. This will be my 5th trip to Ashmore which should say it all! Fantastic marine mammals, great seabirds, at least three landings on West Island Ashmore Reef and a landing on the Lacapedes. There are always interesting passerines on Ashmore Reef and most trips have a reasonable chance of detecting that exciting 'first' for Australia. As far as I am aware there is no information on the web about this trip but you should contact George Swann if you are interested in this one.

2) Coral Sea ex Gladstone QLD 4-15 December 2009. This is boat trip out into the Coral Sea to visit a number of Cays and Islets along the southern edge of the Great Barrier Reef. Previous trips into this area have produced numerous Bulwer's Petrels, a previously unrecorded subspecies of the Fairy Tern for Australian territory, loads of tropical seabirds and some excellent marine mammal and reptile sightings. Haven't done this one but it sounds great. Also sounds like there is plenty of time to visit islands, snorkel and generally relax.

3) Chatham Islands, New Zealand with a pelagic focus. 17- 22 December 2009. This island group to the east of NZ is one of the seabird breeding capitals of the world. They plan a full day pelagic out of Owenga to the Star Keys, South East (Rangatira), Pyramid, Mangere & Little Mangere Islands as well as chumming at various locations along the way and a half day off the south-west coast of the Chathams to spend time in the late afternoon looking for Pterodroma petrels. Anything is possible, but Chatham petrel and Taiko (or Magenta Petrel) are unlikely 'target' species.

The nature of these trips means they are invariably run as commercial operations but I have no commercial interest in any of them. I will however be a participant on the Ashmore trip and would love to be on the other two but couldn't possibly swing them this year.


Rohan Clarke

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