Hi all, See below for the trip report from the Hillarys Pelagic trip off Perth
earlier this month. The report can also be seen at
with photos and a map showing locations for most sightings (courtesy of Martin
Cake). The map can also be accessed via Google at
Cheers,John Hillarys Pelagic Trip Report - 1 April 2012 Participants (21)
Alan Collins (organiser), Ben Allen, Dimitris Bertzeletos, Steve Burns, Martin
Cake, Cheryl Davis, John Graff, Mike Green, Greg Howell, Liz King, Richard
King, Louise Little, Wayne Merritt, Clive Nealon, Jenny Preston, Jon Pridham,
Mark Stanley, John Vogel, Nathan Waugh, Bruce Wedderburn, Pete White
Departed Hillarys Boat Harbour at 7.20am. Returned at 3.45pm. The forecast
was for a partially cloudy day with showers and 10/15 knots W/SW winds
increasing to 18/23 knots by early afternoon. Seas were 2m with a swell of 2m.
The highlight of the trip was the large numbers of Streaked Shearwater seen.
At least 40 birds were seen very close to the northern shore of Rottnest
Island; this species has never been seen in the SW of Western Australia,
before this trip the furthest south they had been recorded at sea in WA was
just north of Geraldton. Other highlights included prolonged and close views
of Wilson’s Storm-Petrels and a couple of very obliging Hutton’s Shearwaters.
As the boat departed from Hillarys, we headed WSW towards the trench NW of
Rottnest Island. As we passed Rottnest Island we started to see a number of
large pale shearwaters, at least two of which were clearly Streaked
Shearwaters, so we stopped the boat to try to get better views. Some chum and
fish oil was thrown out the back of the boat and although this did bring in a
couple of Brown Skuas, it didn’t bring the shearwaters any closer.
As we headed into deeper water, a couple of Hutton’s Shearwater were seen
including one very obliging bird which flew close alongside the boat for quite
some time, giving everyone the opportunity to get excellent views. The only
Arctic Skua of the trip was also seen as we headed SW toward the Rottnest
trench. A Soft-plumaged Petrel was also seen by one observer.
We stopped at a depth of 350m and almost as soon as the fish oil and chum were
deployed Great-winged Petrels and Flesh-footed Shearwater appeared around the
boat, both giving very close views. These birds were joined by Wilson’s
Storm-petrels and again they could be seen flying along the line of the oil.
Normally this species doesn’t come very close to the boat but at times the
birds were only a couple of metres off the stern. A couple of Hutton’s
Shearwaters also passed in the distance, but with no new species coming in, we
decided to try closer to Rottnest.
We stopped NW of Rottnest, in about 30m of water. Several Flesh-footed
Shearwaters arrived, as did a couple of Great-winged Petrels (a little
surprising in such shallow water). These were also joined by a couple of
Bridled Terns, and an immaculately plumaged adult Indian Yellow-nosed
Albatross, which stayed around the boat for most of the stop.
We then decided to head closer to Rottnest, looking for more of the pale
Shearwaters. We motored back, passing just north of Rottnest and sure enough
we quickly picked up more of the shearwaters flying close in to the northern
shore of the island. A reasonable number of pale birds appeared to be hanging
around a little closer to the island, so we moved to that area and were
rewarded when several of the birds passed close to the boat. The views this
time were much better and all the pale shearwaters seen were Streaked
Shearwaters. Subsequent checking of photos also indicates that all large pale
shearwaters seen on the trip were Streaked.
We then began our journey back to the Hillarys Boat Harbour adding a Brown
Skua and a couple more Hutton’s Shearwater on the way, and docked at 3:45pm.
Bird List [Total Number (Maximum at Same Time)]
Indian Yellow-nosed Albatross 1 (1)
Great-winged Petrel 15 (5)
Soft-plumaged Petrel 1 (1)
Streaked Shearwater 40+ (10)
Wedge-tailed Shearwater 10 (2)
Flesh-footed Shearwater 50+ (10)
Hutton’s Shearwater 12 (3)
Wilson’s Storm-petrel 12 (7)
Australasian Gannet 4 (1)
Brown Skua 4 (2)
Arctic Skua 1 (1)
Crested Tern 9 (4)
Bridled Tern 5 (2)
To unsubscribe from this mailing list,
send the message:
(in the body of the message, with no Subject line)