Here's the second trip report from a weekend on the water off Eaglehawk
BIRDLIFE AUSTRALIA PELAGIC TRIP OFF EAGLEHAWK NECK, TASMANIA
Sunday 2nd December 2012
OBSERVERS: Scott Baker, Tim Bawden, Geoff Bromfield, Javier Cotin, Karen
Dick, Dougald Frederick, Dean Ingwersen, Chris Sanderson, De Stojanovic,
Sue Taylor, Els Wakefield, & Rohan Clarke (organiser and report compiler).
WEATHER: High hazy cloud clearing at around midday to patchy clouds with
periods of full sun for the remainder of the day. A 10-15 knot
south-westerly through much of the day, moderately slightly as we headed
SEA: A messy sea to 1.5 m with very little swell on the way out. As the
sea was following conditions were reasonably comfortable. At the shelf
there was a 0.5 to 1 m swell with a small to moderate sea (0.5 to 1 m).
Conditions remained much the same on the return leg except that as we
were pushing into it there was a reasonable amount of spray across the
ACTIVITY: Departed Pirates Bay Wharf at 0720 ESST and headed north west
across the bay towards the shelf. Many birds, especially great flocks of
shearwaters, in both inshore and offshore waters. We crossed the shelf
break (100 fathoms) at 0905 for our first drift and berley session over
200-450 fathoms at 42º56.15’S 148º19.02’E. After an hour and a half we
headed west to meet a trawler that had just finished hauling its catch
at 42º53.70’S 148º16.84’E over 80 fathoms. Here we were surrounded by
birds, especially White-chinned Petrels and Shy Albatross. We drifted a
mile or so to be back on the shelf by midday. We then moved back to
pelagic waters for a final berley session at 42º55.23’S 148º19.99’E over
350 fathoms. Started heading in at 1240. Disembarked at ~1450. As we did
not visit the Hippolytes on this trip counts for some species that
frequent that island were low when compared with recent previous trips.
Australian Fur Seal: 2 (1). A single adult male with a pod of dolphins
in inshore waters and a second at the second berley point in offshore
Bottle-nose Dolphin: 12. Two groups of animals (10 and 2) of the large
offshore form in the AM.
SOUTHERN RIGHT WHALE: 1. A single adult gave fleeting views at the
entrance to Pirates Bay in the AM - it was presumably the same animal
that we'd seen well the previous afternoon.
BIRDS: ~23 species beyond the entrance to Pirates Bay is fairly low
count for a Tasmanian pelagic. Highlights were the many White-chinned
Petrels and Sooty Shearwaters and good views of both Northern and
Southern Royal Albatross. As with the previous day, good records
involved birds that made neither close or nor repeated approaches
(Mottled Petrel and Bullers Shearwater).
White-faced Storm-Petrel: 1 at the first berley point.
Wilsons Storm-Petrel: 3 (2). 1 in offshore waters, 2 at the first berley
Grey-backed Storm-Petrel: 1 at the third berley point.
Wandering Albatross: 6 on plumage/4 together at one time. 1 over 60
fathoms in the AM, 2 at the second berley point with the trawler and the
remainder pelagic. All appeared consistent with gibsoni.
SOUTHERN ROYAL ALBATROSS: 1 at the second berley point in the vicinity
of the trawler.
NORTHERN ROYAL ALBATROSS: 2 (2). 1 adult at the first and second berley
point, 1 immature at the second and third berley point.
Black-browed Albatross: nominate 4 (2). 2 inshore, 2 offshore in the AM.
All adults. impavida: 3 (2). 1 at the first berley point, 2 at the
second berley point. All adults. Also 1 juvenile in offshore waters in
the PM that was either a Black-browed or a Campbell's Albatross.
Shy Albatross: 250 (180). All cauta. 18 inshore, 10 offshore, remainder
pelagic. Mostly adult but at least 1 immature and 2 juvenile birds at
Yellow-nosed Albatross: 1 sub-adult joined the boat in pelagic waters
just as we started heading in.
Southern Giant-Petrel: 4 (3). 1 juvenile inshore in the AM, remainder
pelagic (2 immatures and 1 sub-adult).
Northern Giant-Petrel: 10 (8). All worn juvenile or immature birds. 1
offshore in AM, 8 near trawler, 3 followed us to pelagic berley stops.
Short-tailed Shearwater: ~15,000 (3000). Both inshore and offshore as
several dense bands of rapidly moving birds, but many birds also passing
us at each berley point.
SOOTY SHEARWATER: ~60 (24). Mostly pelagic but at least 9 inshore and 4
offshore in the AM.
BULLER'S SHEARWATER: 1 seen very poorly in pelagic waters by just a
couple of participants.
WHITE-CHINNED PETREL: 150 (80). 4 offshore in AM (including 1 over 58
fathoms), up to 70 at pelagic berley stops and 80 around the trawler.
MOTTLED PETREL: 1 seen briefly whilst underway in offshore waters in the
PM (over 57 fathoms which is quite unusual).
Little Penguin: 1 in offshore waters in the AM.
Australasian Gannet: 5 (2). 4 inshore, 1 offshore, all adults.
Black-faced Cormorant: 22 (12). All inshore in the AM.
Crested Tern: 12 (3). 5 inshore, 3 offshore, remainder pelagic. All adults.
Skua species: a large dark skua flew in and over the boat whilst we were
berleying near the trawler. Unfortunately views were brief and just two
photos were obtained by one participant. I suspect it was a dark morph
South Polar Skua but the evidence is inconclusive.
Kelp Gull: 30 (15). 2 inshore, 2 offshore, 15 near the trawler and 2-6
at pelagic berley stops.
Pacific Gull: 1 adult just outside Pirates Bay in the AM.
Silver Gull: 3 inshore in the AM.
To unsubscribe from this mailing list,
send the message:
(in the body of the message, with no Subject line)