Albany Pelagic Trip Report - 29 July 2012

To: Birding-Aus <>, "" <>
Subject: Albany Pelagic Trip Report - 29 July 2012
From: John Graff <>
Date: Tue, 31 Jul 2012 22:03:45 +0800

Hi everyone, See below for the trip report from the second of the Albany 
Pelagic trips over the weekend. Once again, the report with photos is available 
 Cheers,John ________________________________ Participants: Alan Collins 
(Organiser), John Graff (Organiser), Ron Broomham, Mark Carter, Rose Ferrell, 
Stewart Ford, Nigel Jackett, Darryl Jones, Dan Mantle, Glenn Murray, Graham 
Palmer, Leif Reidell, Peter Taylor, Roy Teale, Nathan Waugh Conditions: 
Conditions for the trip were a little rougher than the Saturday trip, with 
NE'ly winds around 10knts in the morning, increasing to around 15knts for the 
return journey. Seas were forecast to be 1.5m, and the swell was forecast to be 
2m, increasing to 2.5m through the day. Overhead conditions were fine and sunny 
for the majority of the trip, though there was cloud and rain away to the SE 
Overall this was a disappointing trip for Albany, especially for regular 
participants. Only 9 pelagic species were recorded, with no unusual sightings, 
and it proved difficult to bring any birds in behind the boat. The highlight 
was another sighting of Orcas (Killer Whales), following on from the sighting 
on the Saturday trip, though the views were not as good on this occasion. We 
departed Emu Point a little after 7am in clear conditions, which held 
throughout the day. Things were quiet as we crossed King George Sound, with the 
exception of a couple of Humpback Whales. Not long after passing through the 
heads, the first Indian Yellow-nosed Albatross was seen, but the albatross 
activity was much lower than usual just outside the heads. We headed deeper, 
making a more easterly track than the Saturday trip. A couple of Brown Skuas 
were seen, along with a few Hutton's and Little Shearwaters, but seabird 
activity was fairly low. A few people also saw a Shy Albatross. The first Gre
 at-winged Petrel was not seen until well offshore, and not long afterwards we 
came to a stop in about 350m of water. As we stopped, the call of whale drew 
attention to a couple of blows to the port side which some observers considered 
to be Sperm Whales. Not long afterwards, the call went up for Orcas, and we 
were treated to another sighting of these impressive animals (after the 
sighting on the Saturday trip). These were also considered to be 'Type A' 
individuals, and may have been the same animals seen the previous day. They did 
not approach as closely this time, but most people had reasonable views. 
Unfortunately the bird activity was quiet, and we struggled to bring in birds 
to the back of the boat. Indian Yellow-nosed Albatross, Great-winged Petrel, 
and a few overwintering Flesh-footed Shearwaters were the only species to stay 
around the boat, though a few Shy Albatross also made passes. With the wind 
behind us, we drifted quite rapidly, so after an hour or so, we decid
 ed to reposition at the start of the slick. This made little difference 
initially but we were eventually rewarded with some passes by a Soft-plumaged 
Petrel and the arrival of a Cape Petrel and a couple of Shy Albatross. However, 
overall activity near the boat remained low and so we decided to reposition 
again and headed west. We stopped again in about 500m of water and set out the 
chum, but could not attract anything different except for a distant 
giant-petrel which did not come in. A couple of Little Shearwater were seen 
passing but did not come close to the boat. With nothing new coming in, we 
decided to start heading back early to give ourselves extra time to stop if we 
saw anything on the way in. Within minutes of starting to head back, we stopped 
for a Northern Giant-Petrel, which passed behind the stern and disappeared to 
the south. After this brief stop we continued our return journey, but saw 
nothing new. The NE'ly wind and increasing waves also made it a little wet
  for many, especially for the first half of the return journey. We docked 
again a little after 1600. Thanks as always to all the participants, and to the 
skipper Tony and deckhand Fred (Spinners Charters), who were friendly and 
helpful as always. Species List [Total Count (Maximum no. seen at one time)]
Indian Yellow-nosed Albatross 40+ (14)
Shy Albatross 8 (3)
Northern Giant-Petrel 1 (1)
Cape Petrel 1 (1)
Great-winged Petrel 40+ (13)
Soft-plumaged Petrel 5 (2)
Flesh-footed Shearwater 10 (6)
Hutton's Shearwater 8 (3)
Little Shearwater 10 (2)
Brown Skua 3 (1)
Australasian Gannet 25 (12) Humpback Whale 8 (2)
Sperm Whale (possible) 2 (2)
ORCA (KILLER WHALE) ['Type A'] 9+ (9)

To unsubscribe from this mailing list,
send the message:
(in the body of the message, with no Subject line)

<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>
  • Albany Pelagic Trip Report - 29 July 2012, John Graff <=

The University of NSW School of Computer and Engineering takes no responsibility for the contents of this archive. It is purely a compilation of material sent by many people to the birding-aus mailing list. It has not been checked for accuracy nor its content verified in any way. If you wish to get material removed from the archive or have other queries about the archive e-mail Andrew Taylor at this address: andrewt@cse.unsw.EDU.AU