Birds Australia - Victoria Portland Pelagic Trips for 2011

Subject: Birds Australia - Victoria Portland Pelagic Trips for 2011
From: Chris Lester <>
Date: Sat, 11 Dec 2010 17:41:42 +1100
Birds Australia - Victoria Portland Pelagic Trips 2011

Rohan Clarke and I organise pelagic trips from Portland for BA-Vic. We use two boats from there. The first, Southern Pride, is similar to the one we used in Port Fairy and takes 12 people. It will cost around $150 if the boat is full. This boat is only available from March to October because it is used for cray-fishing in the summer season. The second is Game On Charters, a small catamaran that takes 8 people. It is a fast and comfortable boat but quite expensive. Trips on this boat will cost at least $200 depending on whether the boat is full. We use it in summer. Both boats provide lunch, morning and afternoon teas and cold and hot drinks. Both have toilet facilities on-board.

I am now taking bookings for 2011. The bookings for the trips are on a first-come, first-served basis. I did advertise previously back in August and there are only a few vacancies left in the first half of the year. However, I have quite a few spots left for the second half.

Normally, boat trips are 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 are 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.

So, if you want to be part of our 2011 year in Portland, send me an e-mail to this address and nominate when you might want to go. Also, advise if you wish to be an emergency at short notice. Please include a contact telephone number. I will confirm the bookings for 2011 by return email.

Trip Dates for 2011
(If the trip is postponed because of bad weather, then the second attempt will occur on the reserve date in brackets.)

Game On Charters

09 January 2011 (Reserve day - 16)
06 February (Reserve day - 13)

Southern Pride

06 March 2011 (Reserve day - 20)
03 April (Reserve day - 17)
01 May (Reserve day - 15)
05 June (Reserve day - 19)
03 July (Reserve day - 10)
07 August (Reserve day - 14)
04 September (Reserve day - 11)
02 October (Reserve day - 09)

Game On Charters

06 November 2011 (Reserve day - 13)
11 December(Reserve day - 18)

Melbourne people usually travel down to Portland on the Saturday afternoon and return on Sunday evening after the boat trip. I try to arrange rides for those that need them (especially from Melbourne), although there are no guarantees. These is plenty of accommodation in Portland. I try to arrange accommodation the Friday night before if we are going. I also organise a Saturday evening meal at a local eatery for those that want to join us.

For the boat trip, we leave early (between 6 and 7.30, depending on the
season) and return in the afternoon (at about 5). As well as the obvious binoculars and cameras, you need to take warm clothes, protection from wet weather 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, Portland is also 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 old trip reports under "Port Fairy" and the more recent ones under "Portland" on the Birding-Aus archive.

Please note for future reference that these details are also available on the BA web site on the BA-Vic activities page. If you have any other queries, please contact me. My contact number at home is 03 9370 7418 or you can e-mail on <>.

Chris Lester
Portland pelagics advertising for 2011:


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