Well, last weekend I was fortunate enough to be given a place on the
pelagic trip that went out to the Queensland and Britannia seamounts, 100
nautical miles due east from Southport QLD. I rang as soon as I heard about
a vacancy on the trip because of the chance of going on an overnight
pelagic trip - an extended pelagic is excellent medicine for anyone who has
Pelagidipphobia as I do (smile).
It was also a chance for me to see a new bird, White-bellied Storm-petrel.
So, on Friday morning I hopped onto a Red-tailed QANTAS-bird (I plan to
keep using capitals for bird names) and flew north. I also secretly hoped
to see a New Zealand Storm-petrel but I felt that was a long shot and not
to be banked on.
The TexasT, our "luxury motor yacht" for the trip turned out to be LUXURY
all the way, especially for birders. She is 25 metres long and fitted with
stabilisers so even in the 25 knot south-east winds we could leave our cups
of tea and beer cans on the table as we reached for our binoculars and they
just sat there. The boat barely rolled and nothing fell over, including the
birders on board. True luxury; enough wind to lift the birds and no
discomfort to the watchers. It was a tough trip, true "extreme birding"
Well, as most people on B-A know now we did see New Zealand Storm-petrel,
in fact we saw about 10 of them. It was certainly way beyond my wildest
dreams and I still smile every time I think about it. We also saw a
White-bellied Storm-petrel so I was particularly pleased with the trip as I
saw two new pelagic seabirds.
In all I saw 21 of the 22 species seen, I always seem to be looking the
wrong way at some point of a trip, and got very good views of the all the
birds in the sunny conditions.
My special thanks to Paul Walbridge for organising this trip and I hope
those going out on the regular Southport trip this weekend see the NZ
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