Eaglehawk Pelagic Trip Report, 22nd November 2014

Subject: Eaglehawk Pelagic Trip Report, 22nd November 2014
From: Paul Brooks <>
Date: Thu, 4 Dec 2014 15:14:40 +1100

Alan Clark, Karen Dick, Rob Hamilton, Phil Knott, Mona Loofs-Samorzewski,
Sean MacDonald, Glen Pacey, Ryan Steiner,  Els Wakefield, John Wilkinson
and Paul Brooks (organiser and report compiler)

Conditions and Activity:

Left port at 0705 hrs to circumnavigate the Hippolytes.  Light winds and
seas inshore gave way to 15-20 knot NNE winds offshore with a low swell and
seas of 0.5-2 metres.  We reached our first berley point beyond the shelf
break east of the Hippolytes a bit after 0900 hrs; the depth was 430
fathoms, winds were northerly at around 15 knots with seas up around 2
metres; this would be the story for much of the day.  Weather was overcast
and dull with some very light drizzle.  We travelled back up the slick at
1100 hrs before heading north and east to berley over 850 fathoms at 1125
hrs in very similar conditions.  The wind dropped out a bit when the sun
peeked out just after midday but picked up again when the clouds returned
at 1300 hrs.  After heading back up our second slick at 1300 hrs, we
motored straight back for port, stopping for one or more Humpback Whales
over the shelf before docking at 1520 hrs.  Water temperature was a fairly
constant 14.3 degrees from inshore to out wide.


Humpback Whale: at least 1 (possibly another) heading south in offshore
waters.  The depth sounder showed it travelling right beneath the boat.

Australian/New Zealand Fur Seal: About a dozen on the Hippolyte and 1 big
bull showed briefly at the back of the boat in pelagic waters.

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

Antipodean Albatross: 6 (2) All adult male Gibson’s, all in pelagic waters.

Southern Royal Albatross: 4 (1) 3 pelagic, 1 offshore in the afternoon.

NORTHERN ROYAL ALBATROSS: 2 (1) 1 in deep pelagic waters and a second well
inside the shelf break in the afternoon.

Black-browed Albatross: 2 (1) 2 juvenile birds in pelagic waters.  Another
Black-browed type seen in offshore waters in the morning by one observer.

Campbell Albatross: 3 (2) An adult and two immatures in pelagic waters.

Shy Albatross: c. 100 (43) 1 inshore in the morning, 9 offshore, the
remainder pelagic.  At least 3 juveniles amongst the throng.

SALVIN’S ALBATROSS: 2 (1) 2 immatures in pelagic waters.

Buller’s Albatross: 1 offshore in the afternoon.

SOUTHERN GIANT PETREL: 1 A spectacular white morph with no dark flecks in
its plumage (but dark eyes and bluish webbing to feet).  Close inshore in
the afternoon.

Northern Giant Petrel: 8 (5) 7 in pelagic waters, 1 inshore in the
afternoon.  2 adults, the remainder immature.

Fairy Prion: c. 250 (c. 70) 40-odd offshore in the morning, a dozen or so
in pelagic waters and large rafts offshore in the afternoon.

Great-winged Petrel: 1 in pelagic waters; race *gouldi*.

White-headed Petrel: 1 in pelagic waters.

White-chinned Petrel: c. 70 (39) 2 offshore in the morning, remainder
pelagic, many of which followed the boat between stops.

Sooty Shearwater: 3 Pelagic.

Short-tailed Shearwater: c. 5000 (c. 300) Omnipresent in all waters,
although nowhere near as common in offshore waters as last month.

Hutton’s Shearwater: 1 offshore in the afternoon.  Also a couple of
Flutton’s-type birds seen by one observer in pelagic waters.

Wilson’s Storm Petrel: c. 15 (7) 1 well offshore in the morning, remainder

White-faced Storm Petrel: 1 pelagic.

Black-faced Cormorant: c.420 (c. 150) 18 inshore in the morning, c. 400 on
the Hippolytes, 2 offshore in the morning and 1 pelagic.

Australasian Gannet: c. 105 (c. 40) 7 inshore in the morning, c. 80 on the
Hippolytes, 12 offshore in the morning and 4 pelagic.

White-bellied Sea Eagle: 1 flying west from the Hippolyte in the morning.

Silver Gull: c. 150 (c.30) Inshore and on the Hippolytes.

Pacific Gull: 2 (2) Adults on the Hippolyte.

Kelp Gull: c. 100 (c. 40) 21 inshore in the morning, c. 70 on the Hippolyte
and 8 offshore in the morning.

Caspian Tern: 1 flying north inshore in the morning; seen by one observer.
An uncommon sight on Eaglehawk trips.

Greater Crested Tern: c. 185 (c. 100) c. 65 inshore in the morning; c. 120
on Cheverton (Little Hippolyte) Rock, 7 offshore in the morning; 1 pelagic.

Skua sp.: A Brown Skua-type bird seen in inshore waters north of the

Parasitic Jaeger: 5 (2) 2 in pelagic waters (light morph), 3 offshore in
the afternoon (2 dark morph, 1 light morph)

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