Eaglehawk neck, TAS - Pelagic Trip Report - 22/04/2012

Subject: Eaglehawk neck, TAS - Pelagic Trip Report - 22/04/2012
From: James Melville <>
Date: Thu, 26 Apr 2012 13:36:05 +1000
TRIP REPORT - Eaglehawk Neck Pelagic, TAS - Sunday, 22 April 2012:


Els Wakefield, JJ Harrison, Paul Brooks, Ian May, Jeremy O’Wheel, Matt &
Jeanette Fiess,

Graeme & Fletcher McCormack, Jim O’Shea, Liz Znidersic, Andrew Walter,
Hazel Britton &

James Melville (organizer and report compiler) - aboard the Pauletta with
skipper John Males.


Left Pirates Bay at 0710 hrs with heavy cloud cover and low light. Headed
straight for the shelf

edge after doing a quick circumnavigation of the Hippolytes between 0755
hrs and 0810 hrs.

Started the first berley run at 0910 hrs (-43.1243,148.0948) and drifted
until 1205 hrs (-43.1065,

148.2491). The second and final berley point was at 1250 hrs (43.0653,
148.2358), drifting until

1330 hrs (-43.07137693, 148.23335306). Berley used at both stops included
fish frames and oil

as well as chicken skins, scraps and fat. The trip back was a little slower
due to the swell

however we still arrived back at the jetty by around 1500 hrs as planned.


~30 knot northerly winds in the morning dropping to ~20 knot winds by early
afternoon. 1.5 m to

2.0 m swell with occasional larger sets to 3 m at the shelf. Despite
considerable chop at times,

no one was sea sick. There was heavy cloud cover throughout most of the day
with just a few

short periods of sun breaking through gaps in the cloud cover during the


Australian Fur Seal: c.30 Hippolyte, c.15 Little Hippolyte (Cheverton
Rock), 1 pelagic.

Common Dolphin: a single pod of c.20 pelagic.


(32) bird species and (2) mammal species were recorded by observers whilst
aboard the

Pauletta. Of the thirty-two bird species, Pacific Black Duck and
White-bellied Sea Eagle were

recorded in Pirates Bay only. Of the thirty species recorded beyond the
bay, highlights included

Black-bellied Storm Petrel, Buller’s Shearwater, White-headed Petrel,
Providence Petrel, Brown

Skua, (Northern) Royal Albatross and the major highlight, a GREAT

record from TAS) seen by all aboard at the second berley point. Previous
records of Great

Shearwater in TAS are from off Eaglehawk neck on 20/02/2011 and off St
Helens on 06/03/2011

and 10/03/2011.


** Total ( maximum number seen at one time ) **

Pacific Black Duck 2 (2) Pirates Bay in the AM.

Yellow-nosed Albatross: 5 (1) including an immature inshore.

Buller's Albatross: 20 (5) ~3 inshore with majority offshore and pelagic.

Shy Albatross: 100 (45) ~15 inshore with larger numbers at and beyond the
shelf break.

Black-browed Albatross: 1 (1) adult nominate race

2 (1) adult impavida

3 (2) immature unknown race


Wandering Albatross: 5 (2) 3 juvenile, 2 adults (possible breeding gibsoni
+ 1 adult exulans)

Southern Giant-Petrel: 1 (1) pelagic.

Northern Giant-Petrel: 1 (1) pelagic.

Giant Petrel sp.: 1 (1) photographed near the Hippolytes.

Cape Petrel: 1 (1) offshore in the AM.

Great-winged Petrel: ‘gouldi’ 5 (3)

Providence Petrel: 5 (2) offshore, and the remainder pelagic.

WHITE-HEADED PETREL: 1 (1) pelagic.

Fairy Prion: 10 (3) offshore & pelagic.

White-chinned Petrel: 7 (4)

GREAT SHEARWATER: 1 (1) at the 2nd berley stop and following the boat

BULLER’S SHEARWATER: 2 (1) offshore and pelagic.

Sooty Shearwater: 2 (1) offshore & pelagic.

Short-tailed Shearwater: 80 (17) offshore and pelagic with a few
individuals seen inshore.

Wilson's Storm-Petrel: 30 (15) pelagic. (2) offshore in AM.

Grey-backed Storm-Petrel: 40 (20) pelagic.

White-faced Storm-Petrel: 1 (1) pelagic.


Common Diving-Petrel: 4 (2) offshore.

Australasian Gannet: 90 (75) a raft of around 75 inshore in the PM, ~15
offshore & pelagic

Black-faced Cormorant: (5) inshore (~80) ashore on the Hippolytes (1)

White-bellied Sea-Eagle: 2 (2) Pirates Bay in the PM.

Silver Gull: 45 (8) inshore (~30) Hippolytes

Pacific Gull: 1 (1)

Kelp Gull: 20 (~10) inshore, (6) Hippolytes

Crested Tern: 40 (4) inshore, (~30) Hippolytes, 4 (2) pelagic.

BROWN SKUA: 2 (1) offshore and (1) pelagic.


James Melville


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