Eaglehawk Pelagic Trip Report, June 14th 2015

To: birding-aus <>
Subject: Eaglehawk Pelagic Trip Report, June 14th 2015
From: Paul Brooks <>
Date: Mon, 22 Jun 2015 10:27:45 +0000

Ruth Brozek, Karen Dick, Darryl Eggins, Rob Hamilton, Dave James, Mona
Loofs-Samorzewski, Michael Vaughan, Peter Vaughan, George Vaughan and Paul
Brooks (organiser and report compiler)


The Pauletta, skippered by John Males, with deckhand Michael Males.

Conditions and Activity:

We set out from Pirates Bay in light winds and calm seas with a gentle
swell around 1 metre out to the Hippolyte.  After rounding the rock we
headed south-east to the shelf break under cloudy skies.  The
south-westerly breeze remained light and the swell increased slightly, with
some peaks reaching over 2 metres, although it remained gentle.  As we
crossed the drop-off the wind increased to 10-15 knots, still from the
south-west, and we pulled up over 240 fathoms to berley with mackerel
frames, tuna oil and a bit of shark liver.  The boat rocked a bit in the
stronger breeze but there was never any spray and the swell remained around
2 metres with a very long interval.  We drifted north-westerly to 510
fathoms, opting not to shift at all throughout the morning.  Conditions
remained much the same for the remainder of the day although, at times, the
wind would drop out a bit and it gradually shifted southerly throughout the
morning.  Water temperature was a fairly consistent 14.5-14.7 from inshore
to out wide.  Air temperature was in the high single figures all day.  None


Australian/New Zealand Fur Seal: 5 on the Hippolyte.

Short-beaked Common Dolphin: a small pod of 3 or 4 individuals just outside
Pirates Bay in the morning.

Humpback Whale: 2 observed briefly in offshore waters in the morning.

Birds (IOC v 5.2 – max at one time in brackets):

Grey-backed Storm Petrel: 5 (4) All pelagic.

Shy Albatross: c. 50 (21) 3 inshore in the morning; 7 offshore in the
morning; remainder pelagic.  Mainly adult with 9 immatures and 1 juvenile.
Presumably all nominate.

Buller’s Albatross: c. 40 (17) 5 offshore in the morning; remainder
pelagic.  All adult.

Giant Petrel Sp. 2 (1) Flybys from juvenile birds in offshore waters in the
morning and afternoon.

Northern Giant Petrel: 4 (3) All in pelagic waters; 1 juvenile and 3

SOUTHERN FULMAR: 2 (2) Flew laps around the boat and sat together in the
slick for most of the morning, giving excellent views.

Cape Petrel: 9 (7) All birds looked to be *australe*.  All in pelagic
waters bar one bird encountered offshore in the afternoon.

SLENDER-BILLED PRION: 1 Gave prolonged and close views as it circled the
boat and fed in the slick for much of our berley stop.

Fairy Prion: c. 12 (8) All pelagic.

Great-winged Petrel: 5 (3) All pelagic, all nominate.

Sooty Shearwater: 4 (2) All in pelagic waters.

Common Diving Petrel: 50 (6) 46 offshore in the morning, 4 pelagic.

Black-faced Cormorant: 8 (8) All on the Hippolyte.

Australasian Gannet: 15 (5) 13 inshore in the morning, remainder offshore.

White-faced Heron: 2 (2) On the Hippolyte.

White-bellied Sea Eagle: 2 (2) Perched in their usual dead tree near the
mouth of Pirates Bay.  1 bird was there upon our return.

Silver Gull: 5 (5) inshore in the afternoon.

Pacific Gull: 3 (1) 1 adult inshore in the morning, 2 on the Hippolyte.

Kelp Gull: c.56 (c. 12) Inshore and around the Hippolyte in the morning –
mainly adults with 2 juveniles.

Greater Crested Tern: 7 (3) 4 offshore in the afternoon; 3 pelagic (1

White-fronted Tern: 7 (3) 1 immature, remainder adults in pelagic waters.

Commic-type Tern: 1 A bird in adult non-breeding or immature plumage flew
by the boat in pelagic waters.   The white rump was clearly visible, and
the bird was initially identified as an Arctic Tern, but it wasn’t seen
well enough to rule out all other possibilities and no photographs were

Superb Fairy-wren: 2 (2) Observed on the rocks just outside Pirates Bay by
one observer in the afternoon.

Forest Raven: 2 On the Hippolyte.

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