Birds Australia Vic Group Pelagic off Portland, Victoria, Sunday 03 October 2010
Participants: Roy Bryant, Mike Honeyman, Paul Dodd, Ruth Woodrow, Marlene
Brian Johnstone, Euan Moore, Patrick Scully, Dirk Tomsa, Wulan Dirgantoro, Dave
Torr & Peter Lansley (organiser and report compiler).
Activity: Aboard the Southern Pride, skippered by Shannon Churchill and Peter
the deckhand. Left Portland harbour at 07:30 eastern daylight time, passing
north of Lawrence Rocks, staying close to the coast for about two nautical
before turning south-west to the shelf. Travelled at 11-12 knots reaching the
shelf at 0945 and the first berley point at 10:00 at 38° 41' 03” S, 141° 22'
Berleyed here until 11:35 before moving to our second berley session at 38° 44'
53” S, 141° 26' 20” E where we stayed from 12:00 – 12:55.
A third berley stop was had at 38° 44' 52” S, 141° 28' 42” E, from 13:05 –
13:45, then headed back into port. Cruised down the western side of Lawrence
Rocks then along the east observing the gannetry and other wildlife before
returning to the harbour, docking at 16:30.
Conditions: Virtually calm on departure, then a light NE wind sprung up
moderate strength between 10:00 and 11:00 then moderating to light to very
in the afternoon. Small amount of spray when turning for home but few
white-caps. Swell was 1 – 2 metres, increasing as we arrived at the shelf break
but soon moderating with the breeze flattening out the waves so that by
afternoon, a small swell of perhaps 0.5 metres, from the south west.
Bright and sunny conditions throughout, some cloud on the horizon developing in
the afternoon. Temperatures mild, 23°C maximum on land.
A very pleasant day with no-one seasick.
Reasonable diversity with 20 species of seabird recorded beyond the harbour
Highlights were the two forms of Royal Albatross, adult Wandering Albatross,
Northern Giant Petrel and White-chinned Petrel. Nothing exceptional but enough
to maintain interest. Plenty of photography.
Common Dolphin: 3 in inshore waters in the am, following us briefly but not
particularly lengthy views.
Australian Fur Seal. About 10 at Lawrence Rocks.
Black-browed Albatross, all melanophris: 10 (3). One immature inshore,
pelagic. Mostly adults. 3 in offshore waters, remainder pelagic.
Shy Albatross cauta: 80 (50). 3 in inshore waters in the am, 20 (10) in
waters in am, remainder pelagic. Mostly adult with only a few (c. 5) immatures.
Yellow-nosed Albatross: 1. Offshore, seen by one observer.
Royal Albatross, 2 adults: 1 epomophora, 1 sanfordi, pelagic.
Wandering Albatross, 1 probable exulans stage 6, pelagic.
White-chinned Petrel: 1. Pelagic, at stops 2 & 3.
Northern Giant-Petrel: 1. Sub-adult, pelagic, stops 2 & 3.
Cape Petrel: 2(2). Pelagic.
Great-winged Petrel: 6(2). All macroptera. All pelagic.
Wilson's Storm-Petrel: 5(2). All pelagic.
Grey-backed Storm-Petrel: 4(2). All pelagic.
White-faced Storm-Petrel: 8(2). All pelagic.
Fairy Prion 20(6). 6 (2) offshore, remainder pelagic.
Short-tailed Shearwater: 400 (80). 50 inshore, most offshore where est. 300 in
large groups. Small numbers (3-4) pelagic waters at the back of the boat.
Fluttering Shearwater: 1 inshore in am, seen by one observer.
Australian Gannet: 60 (25). Mostly inshore, a few (<5) each offshore and
pelagic. Mostly adults. Thousands on and around Lawrence Rocks and 100+ on
Black-faced Cormorant: 1 inshore in the am, 60 ashore at Lawrence Rocks in the
Arctic Jaeger: 1 pale morph bird, pelagic waters stop 1 chasing a short-tailed
Crested Tern: 10 (4). 4 inshore, 2 or 3 each offshore and pelagic. Another 100
including juveniles in Portland Harbour, am.
Silver Gull: 1 inshore in the am. Also in harbour.
Pacific Gull: 1, 2ndyear bird in Portland harbour.
White-bellied Sea-Eagle, 1 sub adult on Lawrence Rocks, pm.
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