Ashmore Reef trip

To: birding-aus <>
Subject: Ashmore Reef trip
From: Jenny Spry <>
Date: Sat, 8 Nov 2014 15:18:01 +1100
The cry went out that there was a shortage of starters for this year's
Ashmore trip so I dug out the emergency credit card and signed on. I mean,
really, it includes 3 days in very deep waters, it's a pelagic trip, and
who could pass up a pelagic trip? Of course not everyone enjoys pelagic
trips as much as me and some conversations each morning were hilarious, for
me, because I rarely suffer from seasickness.

People would come up on deck, wish each other good morning and then ask
"what did you take?" Replies were assorted and quickly commented on "I had
a blue and a red"; "A red? huh! reds are just placebos, what you need is a
purple, take a purple, here have one of mine"; "no, blue and red work
great, and if I need a bit more I have a pink". "No, purples are the only
ones, here, have one, what about a patch? Are you wearing a patch?" "Yeah,
look" .... and so the conversation about seasick pills and cures went,
every morning.

It was a brilliant trip but I think I am getting old, it has taken me over
a week to recuperate ... or maybe I shouldn't have got up at 6 am on the
last day, birded all day, got on the Broome-Perth-Melbourne flight at 7 pm,
flown non-stop through the night and landed in Melb at 6 am. When I booked
the flight it seemed like a good idea because I was saving a night's
accommodation (smile).

Birding around Broome before and after the trip I saw 75 species without
actually chasing anything except for a Little Ringed Plover. On the boat
travelling between Broome and Ashmore I saw, subject to BARC, 26 pelagic
species including Tahiti Petrel, Streaked Shearwater, Flesh-footed
Shearwater, Bulwer's Petrel, Jouanin's Petrel, Swinhoe's Storm Petrel,
Matsudaira's Storm Petrel, Wilson's Storm Petrel, Abbott's Booby and Masked
Booby. On the Ashmore Islands I had 59 species including Arctic Warbler,
Grey Wagtail, Yellow Wagtail, Peregrine Falcon (Asian ssp), Oriental
Cuckoo, Common Redshank, Asian Dowitcher and Oriental Plover.

It is not a cheap trip but where else can one get such a magnificent
variety of birds? There are birds on this trip you will see nowhere else in
Australia, and it's a pelagic.


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