Eaglehawk Pelagic Trip Report, May 24th 2014

Subject: Eaglehawk Pelagic Trip Report, May 24th 2014
From: Paul Brooks <>
Date: Tue, 10 Jun 2014 21:33:18 +1000

Kaspar Delhey , Rob Hamilton, Brian Johnston, Scott Linnane, Golo Maurer,
Glen Pacey, Els Wakefield, Andrew Walter, Richard White and Paul Brooks
(organiser and report compiler)


The swell was 3 m with seas to 2.5 m for most of the morning, claiming one
casualty in the seasickness stakes.  As the wind dropped out, the sea
flattened and the swell dropped to 1-2 m in the late morning as
predicted.  Winds
were generally south-westerly around 20 kn with gusts to 30 kn in the
morning; they eased to 10-15 kn and turned more westerly later.  The sky
was overcast with some light drizzle early, clearing to be mainly fine in
the afternoon.  Water temperature inshore was 14 deg C, up to 15.3 deg C
out wide.   Air temp: a brisk 6 deg C in the morning, warming up to 11 deg
C later.


Departed from Pirates Bay at 0715 hrs and headed south to the Hippolytes,
forgoing the usual circumnavigation due to the sloppy conditions.  Headed
east to berley over 300 fathoms, drifting NE to 540 fathoms.  Headed north
at 1135 hrs to berley again over 300 fathoms, drifting ENE to 400 fathoms,
then straight back in to Pirates Bay.


Australian Fur Seal – 4 on the Hippolyte

Dolphin sp. –  A few seen briefly and poorly in pelagic waters.

Birds (IOC v 4.2, max at one time in brackets):

Wandering-type Albatross – 1  Showed up briefly just before we moved
between berley stops, keeping its distance.  In plumage stage C from Onley
and Scofield (2007).

Black-browed Albatross – 2 (1)  A sub-adult which followed the boat between
stops and an immature at the second stop.

Campbell Albatross – 1  An adult in pelagic waters.

Shy Albatross – c. 60 (17)  Encountered for most of the trip; a large
proportion of the birds encountered were immature/sub-adult.

Salvin’s Albatross – 1  A single sub-adult made several passes at the
second stop.

Buller’s Albatross – 12 (3) Recorded in small numbers for most of the trip.

Northern Giant Petrel – 1  An adult arrived and harassed other birds at the
back of the boat shortly before we motored for home.

SOUTHERN FULMAR – 1  Not long before we reached the drop-off, a single bird
approached the boat from the stern and gave great views as it flew by.
Unfortunately it continued east out of sight and was not seen again.

Cape Petrel – 4 (4)  All in pelagic waters.

Fairy Prion – c. 60 (10) –  c. 30 in pelagic waters and another 30-odd seen
offshore in a loose flock on the way back to port.

Great-winged Petrel – c. 40 (16)  Mainly pelagic waters (a couple seen just
short of the drop-off).  Most appeared to be nominate race interspersed
with several *gouldi*.

WHITE-HEADED PETREL – 2 (1)  Pelagic.  Both birds gave stunning views at
close range on repeated passes of the boat.

PROVIDENCE PETREL – 3 (1)  All in pelagic waters.  A couple of the birds
gave good, close views on repeated passes.

White-chinned Petrel – 1  Pelagic; a fairly late record.

Sooty Shearwater – 1  Pelagic.

Short-tailed Shearwater – 3 (1)  One bird at the Hippolyte and a further 2
in pelagic waters.

Grey-backed Storm Petrel - 5 (3)  Pelagic waters.

White-faced Storm Petrel – 1  Pelagic waters.

Common Diving Petrel – 9 (1)  Mainly well offshore, a couple pelagic.

Australasian Gannet –  c. 30 (4)  Mainly inshore, a couple pelagic.

Black-faced Cormorant – 25 (3)  Inshore.

Silver Gull – 9 (3)  Inshore.

Pacific Gull – 1  Single adult on the Hippolyte.

Kelp Gull – 10 (3)  Inshore.

Greater Crested Tern – 28 (4)  Encountered in all waters.

White-fronted Tern – 5 (5)  Pelagic.  Flew by from the south at a distance
before returning to forage in the slick for some time.  2 adults and 3

Peregrine Falcon – 1  Observed flying west just beyond the Hippolyte with a
prey item that appeared to be a Common Diving Petrel.

Forest Raven – 2 (2)  The Hippolyte.

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