Southport Pelagic 27th April

To: <>
Subject: Southport Pelagic 27th April
From: "Paul Walbridge" <>
Date: Tue, 30 Apr 2013 06:48:42 +1000
Hi All, full report below of last Saturdays' pelagic.

Location: Southport, Queensland
Date: 27/4/13
Vessel: 37 ft Steber monohull MV Grinner.
Crew: Craig Newton (skipper)
Pax: Paul Walbridge (organiser & leader), Glen Pacey, Steve Murray,
Nikolas Haas, Raja Stevenson, Ian Churchward, Jeanie Churchward, Chris
Wiley, Dick Anderssen, Brian  Russell, Burnice Starkey.

Weather conditions:
A high over SE Australia maintained a firm ridge over the Queensland
coast bringing light SE winds, 5-15 knots. Fine conditions with light to
moderate, mostly high cloud. Visibility excellent, max. air temp. 27* C,
barometric pressure 1024 hPa.

Sea conditions:
Calm seas on a light swell of less than 1 metre for the whole day. Sea
surface temps. 23.5* C at the Seaway, rising to 25* C at the Shelf-break
and 26.4* C at the widest point. EAC running at 1.5 knots out wide.

Left the Southport Seaway at 0630 hrs and headed ENE for Jims Mountain
some 28 nm offshore. Crossed the Shelf-break at approx. 0900 hrs and
arrived at the final drift point at 0925 hrs. Drifted southeast, with
two runs back up the slick until 1250 hrs, then headed for home. Arrived
back at the seaway at 1540 hrs, total duration of trip 9 hrs 10 mins.
Very little around on leaving the Seaway, with just a few Crested Terns
and Silver Gulls, returning from further out and just two trawlers
encountered. The first trawler had very little around it with mainly
Crested Terns and Silver Gulls and a few Pied Cormorants, with singles
of Wedge-tailed Shearwater and Caspian Tern. The second trawler
encountered shortly afterward was a bit more productive, with much
larger numbers of Crested Terns and Silver Gulls but still only 2
Wedge-tailed Shearwaters, in addition though, more Pied Cormorants the
first Pomarine Jaegers & Short-tailed Shearwater for the day. Over the
next couple of hours journeying out over the shelf produced just a
couple more of Pomarine Jaegers, Short-tailed and Wedge-tailed
With the light winds, we encountered birds loafing on the sea-surface
and on reaching the drift point and churning out berley, we were joined
immediately by the first Wilson*s Storm-Petrels of the day. Not long
after at 0940 hrs the first pterodroma, a Providence Petrel arrived
along with a Short-tailed Shearwater and three Wilson*s Storm-Petrels,
with all landing in the slick. In just a few minutes the numbers of
Providence Petrels had risen to four. Not much changed species wise
until 1020 hrs when the first of two Flesh-footed Shearwaters turned up
and 25 minutes later a White-faced Storm-Petrel arrived with some
Wilson*s Storm-Petrels, with White-faced Storm-Petrel a species fast
becoming an April regular off Southport. 
At 1110 hrs the sole Kermadec Petrel for the day arrived but kept its
distance down the slick (which most birds did on the day) and hung
around for a few minutes but never close enough for photographs. Just 20
minutes later a full plumaged dark phase Arctic Jaeger arrived,
seemingly an adult, or near adult but hard to call and this bird made
several close passes to the vessel much to the delight of the punters on
board. Arctic Jaeger is far more rarely encountered off shore than
Pomarine Jaeger in SEQ waters, with most birds preferring to loaf around
inshore and in Moreton Bay. At the same time another unusual bird for
Southport turned up, a Sooty Shearwater, followed shortly after by
another. At 1140 hrs the first Tahiti Petrel arrived belatedly on the
scene, a fresh plumaged bird, followed at 1150 hrs by another and also a
second White-faced Storm-Petrel. Both of the White-faced Storm-Petrels
appeared to be in fresh plumage and were both, off-white/greyish rumped
birds. Little sighted on the way back to the seaway save for a few
Wedge-tailed and Short-tailed Shearwaters. 
Wilson*s Storm- Petrel * 31 (6)
White-faced Storm-Petrel * 2 (1)
Wedge-tailed Shearwater * 15 (5)
Flesh-footed Shearwater * 2 
Sooty Shearwater * 2 
Short-tailed Shearwater * 11 (3)
Tahiti Petrel * 2 (1)
Kermadec Petrel * 1 
Providence Petrel * 12 (4)
Pied Cormorant * 10 (4)
Pomarine Jaeger * 5 (3)
Arctic Jaeger * 1 
Caspian Tern * 1 
Crested Tern * 182 (150)
Silver Gull * 436 (300)

Welcome aboard Nikolas and Raja, now Brisbane residents and Southport
homies, sorry about that down south but we finally lured them to the
tropics, Raja has already commented on how warm and comfortable the
pelagic was. Next trip is on May 18th with a couple of positions
available. Contact Paul Walbridge on (PH) (H) 07 3256 4124 (W) 07 3139
Cheers - Paul W.

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