Birdlife Australia Pelagic Trip off Eaglehawk Neck, Tas, 28 July 2013

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Subject: Birdlife Australia Pelagic Trip off Eaglehawk Neck, Tas, 28 July 2013
From: Rohan Clarke <>
Date: Sat, 03 Aug 2013 13:40:00 +1000
Hi All,
Here's the trip report for second of two pelagic trips that ran off Eaglehawk Neck last weekend.

Birdlife Australia Pelagic Trip off Eaglehawk Neck, Tas, Sunday 28th July 2013

OBSERVERS: Scott Baker, Tim Bawden, Paul Dodd, Dougald Frederick, Mona Loofs-Samorzewski, Rowan Mott, Glen Pacey, Mark Stanley, Els Wakefield, John Weigel, Ruth Woodrow and Rohan Clarke (organiser/report compiler).

WEATHER: A 5-10 kt northerly inshore, increasing to a 10-15 kt northerly offshore and in pelagic waters - much the same for the remainder of the day, except for a 20 kt squall as we returned to Pirates Bay. 50% low cloud + high hazy cloud. Good to excellent visibility but a bit dull for photography at times. Cool to mild.

SEA: 1 m swell in inshore waters increasing to 1.5-2 m swell with a 0.5-1 m sea in offshore and pelagic waters. A bit of a roll when moving side on to the swell but otherwise a comfortable ride through the day. Some spray whilst underway. A sea surface temperature of 14.2 C was noted at the shelf (atypically warm for late July).

ACTIVITY: Departed at 0715 EST. Headed NNE across Pirates Bay and then directly out to the shelf (missing the Hippolytes rock stack to avoid punching into the forecast rough sea later in the day). Crossed the shelf at 0855. Our first stop was at 42º57.37’S 148º20.20’E over 500 fathoms were we berleyed with fish discards, chicken skin and shark liver. Moved further out to 43º01.58’S 148º21.13’E over 600 fathoms for a second berley stop. The last stop of the day was back on the shelf edge (43º00.52’S 148º15.05’E ~100 fathoms). Headed back in at 1330, docking at around 1505.

Aust. Fur Seal: 1 inshore in the AM, 1 offshore in the PM.

BIRDS: 19 species beyond Pirates Bay indicates low diversity (we didn’t even record a Silver Gull!). Highlights were excellent views of Southern Royal Albatross, White-fronted Tern, both Giant-Petrels and the more common species of albatross. This list follows current IOC taxonomy.

Southern Royal Albatross: 1 adult visited us at both the 1st and 2nd berley points.

Black-browed Albatross: 2 (1). Both adults, both pelagic. Certainly two different birds as 1 was sporting a red colour band the details of which have been reported to the Australian Bird and Bat Banding Scheme.

Shy Albatross cauta/steadi: 100 (65). 3 inshore, 12 offshore, remainder pelagic. 10 immatures (1 inshore, 9 pelagic), remainder adult.

Indian Yellow-nosed Albatross: 10 (6). All adult. 1 inshore, 2 offshore, remainder pelagic. 1 grey-hooded individual was of interest; the sharply pointed yellow streak at the base of the culminicorn confirmed it was Indian and not Atlantic Yellow-nosed Albatross.

Buller’s Albatross: 40 (30). All adult. 3 inshore remainder pelagic.

Fairy Prion: 40 (10). All pelagic.

Northern Giant-Petrel: 1 immature at the 2nd berley point.

Southern Giant-Petrel: 1 juvenile at the 1st and 2nd berley point.

Great-winged Petrel: 35 (20). All pelagic. All ssp. gouldi.

Sooty Shearwater: 10 (2). 8 pelagic, 2 offshore in the PM.

Fluttering Shearwater: 1 pelagic.

Grey-backed Storm-Petrel: 2 (1). Both pelagic.

Common Diving Petrel: 44 (10). 27 inshore, 14 offshore, 3 pelagic.

Australasian Gannet: 7 (3). All adults. 2 inshore, 5 pelagic.

Black-faced Cormorant: 1 inshore in the AM.

Pacific Gull: 3 adults inshore in the PM.

Kelp Gull: 6 (3). All adult, all inshore.

Crested Tern: 38 (10). 3 inshore, 15 offshore, 20 pelagic.

White-fronted Tern: 7 (3). All pelagic. 4 adults, 3 juvenile.

An adult Peregrine Falcon at sea flying north-west towards the coast 3 miles off ‘The Sisters’ was the only ‘landbird’ for the day.

Rohan Clarke

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