Birdswing Birding & Wildlife Tours Pelagic trip off Port Fairy, Victoria
Sunday 14th April 2013
Observers: Neil Macumber (organiser and report writer), Kev Lobotomi, Geoff
Glare, Anne Looney, Beryl Hazlett, Helen Ives, Brian Hendrickson, Rob
Drummond, Ian Wilson, Jill Wilson and Michael Stone
Conditions: When we left port we headed out with overcast skies with
approx. 5% blue sky, a slight breeze, sun trying to poke through, a swell
of 3 to 4 metres possibly up to 5 metres and sun out later in the day.
Overview: Left the Port Fairy wharf at 0718 EST along the Moyne River out
to sea heading at 215˚and boat speed of 12 knots.
An enthusiastic group left the Moyne River into a reasonably calm Bass
Strait with fairly large swells. We were starting to see birds from almost
the moment we left the river. These were Gannets and Short-tailed
Shearwaters and were quickly followed by our first Black-browed Albatross
and a couple of Common Dolphins. Other species seen were Shy and Yellow-
nosed Albatross, Fairy Prion, Huttons and Fluttering Shearwater, Wilson’s
and White-faced Storm-petrel, Crested and White-fronted Tern and Little
At 1010 in 96 fathoms we decided to make our first stop as there were many
birds and we needed cuppa. Well that was when the fun began with many
people getting RSI of the shutter finger. We had around 80 -100 Albatross
⅔ were Shy and most of the others were Black-browed, with 5 Campbell
Island, 5 Bullers and a couple of Yellow-nosed Albatross as well. There
were 40 Great-winged and 4 White-chinned Petrels, along with up to 20
Wilson’s, 3 Grey-backed and 4 White-faced Storm-petrels. Sooty, Flesh-
footed and Short-tailed Shearwaters also put in an appearance. Of interest
were 6 Shy Albatross that had leg bands, 5 were silver and on the left leg
and the other was an aqua colour and on the right. At this stop we also had
a large number of Common Dolphin. We left there at 1228 hours having
drifted to around 163 fathoms.
We stopped again at 1247 hours after not travelling very far at all, this
time the depth was 201 fathoms. The same species were sighted and we
departed for port at 1332 hours in a depth of 172 fathoms.
On the return journey we added Brown Skua and Arctic Jaeger. We docked at
1609 EST. Mammals seen were Common Dolphin.
Everyone enjoyed themselves with most people adding pelagic species to
their life list.
Birds: 26 species off shore
Pelagic Species: - Little Penguin, Shy Albatross, Black-browed Albatross,
Campbell Island Albatross, Indian Yellow-nosed Albatross, Buller's
Albatross, Fairy Prion, Great-Winged Petrel, White-chinned Petrel, Sooty
Shearwater, Short-tailed Shearwater, Fluttering Shearwater, Hutton’s
Shearwater, Grey-Backed Storm-Petrel, White-Faced Storm-Petrel, Wilson's
Storm-Petrel, Australasian Gannet, Black-faced Shag, Brown Skua, Arctic
Jaeger, Pacific Gull, Kelp Gull, Silver Gull, Crested Tern and White-
Species see in shore: - Masked Lapwing and Great Egret.
Mammals: Saw 100 possibly up to 500 Common Dolphins.
Proposed Dates for remainder of 2013 Trips: Sunday 12 May (full only taking
standbys), 30 June, 14 July, 11 August, 15 September, 27 October, 17
November and 1 December. Trips will go if there are enough numbers and the
weather is suitable. First in gets a spot allocated. See our website for
more details <http://www.birdingwildlifetours.com.au/>
Birdswing Birding & Wildlife Tours
POMONAL VIC 3381
PH. 03 5356 6274
Mob. 0413 628 306
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