Birdlife Australia Pelagic Trip off Eaglehawk Neck, Tas, 27 July 2013

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Subject: Birdlife Australia Pelagic Trip off Eaglehawk Neck, Tas, 27 July 2013
From: Rohan Clarke <>
Date: Sat, 03 Aug 2013 13:37:46 +1000
Hi All,
Here's the trip report for one of two pelagic trips we had off Eaglehawk Neck last weekend.

Birdlife Australia Pelagic Trip off Eaglehawk Neck, Tas, Saturday 27th July 2013

OBSERVERS: Scott Baker, Tim Bawden, Paul Brooks, Paul Dodd, Dougald Frederick, Marlene Lyle, Jeremy O’Wheel, Glen Pacey, Els Wakefield, Andrew Walter, John Weigel, Ruth Woodrow and Rohan Clarke (organiser/report compiler).

WEATHER: A 5 kt northerly inshore, increasing to a 10-15 kt northerly offshore and in pelagic waters. Wind remained much the same for the remainder of the day. High hazy cloud with occasional patches of direct sunlight. Good to excellent visibility. Cool to mild.

SEA: 1 m swell, 0.2 m sea in inshore waters increasing to a 1-1.5 m swell and a 0.5m sea in offshore and pelagic waters. A comfortable ride throughout the day with almost no spray. A sea surface temperature of 14.2 C was noted at the shelf (atypically warm for late July).

ACTIVITY: Sailed at 0720 EST. Headed out past the Hippolyte rock stack before proceeding to the shelf which we crossed at 0908. Very few birds on the way out. Our first stop was at 43º09.10’S 148º17.21’E over 475-500 fathoms were we berleyed with fish discards and chicken skin. Moved further north to 43º03.79’S 148º19.46’E again over 400-500 fathoms for a second berley stop. The last stop of the day was back on the shelf edge (43º02.61’S 148º15.86’E ~200 fathoms). Headed back in at 1340, docking at around 1510.

Aust. Fur Seal: 1 inshore in the AM, 1 offshore in the PM and 5 on the Hippolytes

BIRDS: 22 species beyond Pirates Bay indicates average diversity. Highlights were good but brief views of White-headed Petrel, excellent views of Brown Skua, White-fronted Tern and the more common species of albatross. This list follows current IOC taxonomy.

Antipodean Albatross: 1 gibsoni-type, pelagic between 1st and 2nd berley points. A sub-adult/adult.

Black-browed Albatross: 1 adult pelagic.

Campbell’s Albatross: 2 (2). 1 immature and 1 adult at the 1st berley point.

Shy Albatross cauta/steadi: 70 (30). 3 inshore, 11 offshore, remainder pelagic. 1 dark hooded juvenile in offshore waters was a slightly worn cauta, otherwise there were 2 immatures (both pelagic) and the remainder were adult.

Indian Yellow-nosed Albatross: 3 (2). All adult, all pelagic.

Buller’s Albatross: 60 (25). All adult, all pelagic.

Cape Petrel: 5 (3). All pelagic. All of the nominate ssp.

Fairy Prion: 20 (5). All pelagic.

Great-winged Petrel: 70 (25). All pelagic. All ssp. gouldi.

White-headed Petrel: 4 (1). All pelagic.

Sooty Shearwater: 5 (1). 4 pelagic, 1 offshore in the PM.

Fluttering Shearwater: 2 (1). 1 offshore in the AM, 1 pelagic.

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

Common Diving Petrel: 39 (5). 25 inshore, 10 offshore, 4 pelagic.

Australasian Gannet: 20 (4). 10 inshore, 3 offshore, 7 pelagic. All adults. None on the Hippolytes.

Black-faced Cormorant: 1 inshore in the AM and 14 on and around the Hippolytes.

Silver Gull: 1 inshore in the AM.

Pacific Gull: 1 adult inshore and 1 3rd year bird on the Hippolytes.

Kelp Gull: 31 (20). All adult, all inshore. Also 15 on the Hippolytes.

Crested Tern: 24 (4). 9 inshore, 9 offshore, 6 pelagic.

White-fronted Tern: 8 (2). All pelagic. 7 adults, 1 juvenile.

Brown Skua: 1 adult pelagic.

3 White-faced Heron at the Hippolytes rounded out the list.

Rohan Clarke

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