sunshine coast pelagic

To: <>
Subject: sunshine coast pelagic
From: "Greg Roberts" <>
Date: Sat, 14 Jan 2012 21:05:20 +1000
Another excellent pelagic of the Sunshine Coast today with Red-tailed
Tropicbird, Buller's Shearwater, Bridled Tern and Sooty Tern among the
species seen.

See here for pictures and more information: .

Greg Roberts


Our third Sunshine Coast pelagic kicked off with our departure from
Mooloolaba Marina at 06.35 in our 10m catamaran, Cat-A-Pult, under cloudy
skies with a light easterly blowing.  We had large numbers of Common Terns
and smaller numbers of Wedge-tailed Shearwaters over an extensive area
inshore, and at 120m (21 3702S, 153 3505E), 25 naut miles out, the action
started with 2 Common Noddies, 2 Bridled Terns and 6 Sooty Terns seen in
quick succession.


When we reached the shelf proper at 230m (26 3655S, 153 41.64E), we were
joined by our first Tahiti Petrels. Wedge-tailed Shearwaters continued to be
present in large numbers - always a sign at this distance offshore that
conditions are exceptionally calm. The breeze struggled to hit five knots
and we headed out further to 300+m, to the area where we had the Stejneger's
Petrel in November, but the hoped for parade of Pterodromas failed to


All was not lost, however. We had frequent sightings of Sooty Terns - adults
and juveniles - while on the shelf, and Tahiti Petrels and Flesh-footed
Shearwaters were regular about the boat. Turning westward at about 1300, we
were half-way back when Paddy spotted a Red-tailed Tropicbird sitting on the
water, offering excellent views.


The action picked up again 6 naut miles offshore in 37m of water with a huge
flock of terns and shearwaters feeding on small fish spooked by marauding
yellowfin tuna. Common Terns were in abundance and with them were good
numbers of White-winged Terns, a smattering of Crested and Little Terns, and
another Bridled Tern which was much more co-operative than the birds seen in
the morning. Two Hutton's Shearwaters - very unusual for this time of year -
were in the mix and to cap it off, we were about to head home when a
Buller's Shearwater joined the action, giving everyone a good if all too
brief view.


PARTICIPANTS: Paddy Diamond (skipper), Greg Roberts (organiser).

George Chapman,  Mark Clarke,  Robyn Duff,  Jan England,  Judith Hoyle,
Nick Leseberg,  Brendon Levot,  Gavin O'Meara,  Jim Sneddon,  Kathy Wilk,
Brian Willey.


SPECIES - Total number (maximum at once):

Wedge-tailed Shearwater 1200 (200) 

Flesh-footed Shearwater 12 (2)

Buller's Shearwater 1 (1)

Hutton's Shearwater 2 (2)

Tahiti Petrel 16 (4)

Arctic Jaeger 2 (1)

Pomarine Jaeger 1 (1)

Red-tailed Tropicbird 1 (1)

Silver Gull 6 (3)

Common Noddy 2 (2)

Crested Tern 20 (4)

Common Tern 2500 (1200)

White-winged Tern 100 (10)

Little Tern 6 (2)

Sooty Tern 30 (6)

Bridled Tern 3 (1)

Little Black Cormorant 2 (1)

Great Cormorant 1 (1)










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