Birdswing Birding & Wildlife Tours Pelagic trip off Port Fairy, Victoria
Sunday 8th September 2013
Observers: Neil Macumber (organiser and report writer), Kev Lobotomi, Scott
Baker, Geoff Glare, Tim Dolby, David Dickson, Andrew Silcocks, Brian
Johnston, Beth Carr, Martin Cake, Mark Stanley and Jim Preston.
Conditions: When we left port and headed out of the river there was
overcast skies, a cool spring day with approx. 90% thin cloud cover, very
little breeze and the sun trying to poke through, a swell of around 3
metres with fairly calm seas. Later in the day we could see rain towards
shore, it had warmed up with slightly thinner cloud. As we got back
towards Port Fairy there was a slight breeze and the sea was a little less
calm than earlier in the day.
Overview: Departed the Port Fairy wharf at 0705hrs EST along the Moyne
River out to sea heading at 213˚and boat speed of 12 knots.
After trying to have a pelagic trip every weekend since 30th June 2013 we
finally had weather conditions suitable to allow us to get out. An
enthusiastic group left the Moyne River into an almost glassy Bass Strait
with 3 metre swells with long distance between peaks. About 10 minutes
outside the river we sighted our first Black-browed Albatross followed
fairly quickly by 4 or 5 Shy Albatross, then Crested Tern and an
unidentified Giant Petrel, Huttons and Fluttering Shearwaters, Australasian
Gannet and Little Penguin were also observed before our first stop.
At approximately 1000hrs in just over 100 fathoms we made our first stop,
there were a few birds around and the kettle was boiled. We had around 60+
Albatross, about 50 were Shy and the others were Black-browed 4, Yellow-
nosed Albatross 1,Wandering Albatross 3 and a lone Royal Albatross as well.
There was also a brown - Juvenile looking Wanderer that seemed to be
noticeably smaller than the others and may have been an Antipodean
Albatross. Also at this site were 6 Great-winged Petrels, 2 Northern Giant
Petrels, 2 Fairy Prions, Fluttering/Huttons Shearwater and Crested Tern.
We drifted a reasonable distance to 133 fathoms and before we headed out to
deeper water observed 1 Cape Petrel, 1 Blue Petrel, 1 Grey-backed Storm-
petrel and over 140 Albatross around the boat.
At 1305hrs we made our second stop in 263 fathoms. We had up to 200
Albatross which were mainly Shy, 11 Black-browed, 2 Wanderers and 1 Royal.
There was also a couple of Northern Giant Petrels, 20 Great-winged Petrels,
Fluttering Shearwater and 1 Grey-backed Storm-petrel. We had drifted to 240
fathoms before heading back to Port Fairy at around 1334hrs.
Many Albatross followed us back almost to the river mouth. We observed a
couple Australian Fur Seal and a few people saw a ‘tall’ Whale spout
which was not seen again and no identification was possible.
Birds: 16 species off shore
Pelagic Species: - Little Penguin, Shy Albatross, Black-browed Albatross,
Indian Yellow-nosed Albatross, Wandering and Royal Albatross, Fairy Prion,
Great-Winged Petrel, Cape Petrel, Blue Petrel, Fluttering Shearwater,
Huttons Shearwater, Grey-Backed Storm-Petrel, Australasian Gannet, Crested
Tern, Northern Giant Petrel
Species seen in shore: - Masked Lapwing, Kelp and Pacific Gull, Silver
Gull, Little Black Cormorant and a Common Sandpiper opposite to where the
boat is docked.
Mammals: Saw a small number of Australian Fur Seal & an unidentified Whale.
Dates for remainder of 2013 Trips: Sunday 15 September, 27 October, 17
November and 1 December. Proposed dates to June 2014 trips: - Sunday 12
January, 9 February, 16 March, 13 April, 11 May, 15 June.
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
Birdswing Birding & Wildlife Tours
POMONAL VIC 3381
PH. 03 5356 6274
Mob. 0413 628 306
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