Here?s the trip report for the Birds Australia Vic Group pelagic that
got out off Portland, western Vic on the weekend.
Pelagic off Portland, Victoria, Sun 7 February 2010
Participants: George Appleby, Elizabeth Shaw, Andrew Wood, Alan
Crawford, Grant Penrhyn Wendy McMillan, Rohan Clarke (organiser/report
Activity: Left the Portland harbour jetty at 0740, passing between
Lawrence Rocks and Point Danger before heading south-west to the
shelf. Travelling at 19 knots we reached the shelf at 0920 and the
first berley point at 0935 (38 45.28 E, 141 23.56 S ~400 m). Berleyed
here till 1100 before moving out into deeper water (1000m) for a
second drift and berley session. Moving around an area known locally
as the Horseshoe we berleyed at a further location (over 350m) before
heading back in at 1420. Cruised down the eastern side of Lawrence
Rocks observing the thousands of gannets and other wildlife ashore
here before running back to the harbour, arriving at 1615.
Conditions: This was forecast to be a fairly rough day - fortunately
the predicted higher wind speeds did not eventuate. As it was there
was a 15-20 knot NE as we headed out. With it on the stern the ride
wasn?t too rough but we still took some spray. Through the day the
wind moderated such that by midday it was variable below 10 knots.
Swell was 1.5 to 2 m with 0.5 to 1 m sea but this too moderated fairly
rapidly once out at the shelf. Bright, well lit conditions with no
cloud. These conditions made for a pleasant day at sea and one that
was far more enjoyable than one might have anticipated given the 30+
knot wind that was blowing the evening prior.
Reasonable diversity on the day with 23 species of bird recorded
beyond the harbour breakwater. Highlight was undoubtedly the GOULD?S
PETRELS that provided some close approaches at the first berley point.
Common Dolphin: In both inshore and offshore waters. Two individuals
on the way out then two pods (10 and 15) on the return leg including
one pod within a mile or so of Lawrence Rocks
Australian Fur Seal. 1 in inshore waters as we returned and about 5
hauled out on Lawrence Rocks.
Little Penguin: 3. 2 inshore in the am, 1 inshore in the pm.
melanophrys 3 (3). One adult and 2 immatures/sub-adults at the second
impavida 6 (4). All pelagic. 3 others offshore waters not specifically
Shy Albatross cauta: 15 (10). 1 in inshore waters in the am, 1 in
offshore waters in pm, remainder pelagic. 3 immature, 1 juvenile
Yellow-nosed Albatross: 8 (5). 3 juvenile, 1 immature remainder adult.
1 offshore, remainder pelagic.
Wandering Albatross: 1 gibsoni type bird at the second berley point.
GOULD?S PETREL: 4 (3). The first bird as we crossed the 200 m mark on
the way out was a Gould?s Petrel! This was followed soon after by
three together at the first berley point, that on occasions made very
close approaches. Another joined us at the second berley point.
Photographs of these birds can be found here?
White-chinned Petrel: 1 at the first berley point.
Great-winged Petrel: 20 (11). 1 macroptera at the first berley point
remainder gouldii. All pelagic.
Wilson?s Storm-Petrel: 1 at the third berley point.
Grey-backed Storm-Petrel 2 (2) at the second berley point.
White-faced Storm-Petrel 10 (5) All pelagic.
Fairy Prion: 1 at the first berley point.
Short-tailed Shearwater: ~200 (40). Mostly offshore and pelagic
including some birds feeding at the back of the boat.
Sooty Shearwater: 1 at the first berley point
Flesh-footed Shearwater: 150 (50). All pelagic, except that a couple
followed us a short distance back into offshore waters.
Fluttering Shearwater: 4 (1). 3 pelagic, 1 offshore in am.
Australian Gannet: 100 (50). Mostly inshore, small numbers offshore
and 13 pelagic. Other than 1 immature all were adult. Also thousands
on and around Lawrence Rocks.
Black-faced Cormorant: 1 inshore in the am, ~220 ashore at Lawrence
Rocks in the pm.
Artic Jaeger: 1 pale bird over inshore waters in the am.
Pomarine Jaeger: 1 dark bird over inshore waters in the am (with the
Crested Tern: 50 (20). 5 pelagic, 10 offshore, remainder inshore.
Another ~300 including many juveniles roosting on Lawrence Rocks in
Silver Gull: 5 inshore in the am. 30 on Lawrence Rocks in the pm
Kelp Gull: 4 on Lawrence Rocks in the pm.
Pacific Gull: 2 on Lawrence Rocks in the pm.
Sooty Oystercatcher (1) on Lawrence Rocks rounded out the list.
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