Eaglehawk Neck Pelagic 18 July 2015 - trip report

To: "" <>
Subject: Eaglehawk Neck Pelagic 18 July 2015 - trip report
From: Rohan Clarke <>
Date: Sat, 25 Jul 2015 10:18:02 +0000
Hi All,
The BirdLife Australia pelagic got out off Eaglehawk Neck last Saturday
and Sunday. Here's the Saturday trip report. The Sunday trip report will
follow... Next scheduled trips are 12 and 13 September - both trips are
fully booked but happy to add people to the wait list.
Rohan Clarke

Saturday 18 July 2015

OBSERVERS: Glen Pacey, Nikolas Haass, Raja Stephenson, Tim Bawden, Mike
Honeyman, Paul Newman, Heyn de Kock, Bernie O'Keefe, Dougald Frederik,
Scott Baker, Kevin Bartram, Rowan Mott and Rohan Clarke (organiser,
report compiler).

WEATHER: Cloudy (40-90%) through much of the day, with occasional
patches of sunlight. Wind southerly. 15-20 knots as we reached the
shelf, dropping to 10-15 knots by 11 AM and down to 10 knots by 1 PM. Cold!

SEA: Not as bad as it might have been given the persistent southerlies
and passage of some serious cold fronts in the preceding week. A 1-2 m
sea and a 2-3 m swell in offshore waters and at the shelf with the sea
dropping back to ~1 m by midday. Occasional swells to 4 m but the
interval was fairly broad so nothing too steep. Relatively little spray
and a reasonable ride given the sea conditions. Two seasick.

ACTIVITY: Departed Pirates Bay Wharf at 0718 EST. Headed out past the
Hippolytes and then straight onto the shelf. Reasonable numbers of birds
in offshore waters and a few petrels just before reaching the shelf
suggested we were in for a good day. Crossed the shelf break (100
fathoms) at 0925 before making our first stop about a mile beyond the
shelf over 250-300 fathoms of water. Here we berleyed for an extended
session before moving to a second pelagic berley point a little bit
further out (500-600 fathoms). Started heading in at around 1245. Docked
at 1500.


Australian Fur-Seal: 6 on the Hippolytes, 1 at the shelf.

Common Dolphin ~5 as a single pod in inshore waters in the AM.

BIRDS: 27 species of seabird beyond the point at Pirates Bay is a good
count for a Tasmanian pelagic in winter. Very cooperative Blue and Grey
Petrels were the highlight of the day but other good birds included
Slender-billed and Antarctic Prion and a nice selection of great
albatross. Soft-plumaged Petrel would have been a highlight if had been
more than a speck on the horizon.

Wandering Albatross: (exulens) 5 on structure and plumage. 2 different
juveniles, 2 = stage 4 and 1 stage 5. All pelagic.

NZ (Antipodean) Albatross: (gibsoni). 2 on plumage. Both pelagic.

Southern Royal Albatross: 8 (3). 4 adults at various stages, 4
juv/immatures. Pelagic, except for one sub-adult in offshore waters in
the PM.

Black-browed Albatross: 2: 1 adult pelagic and 1 second year bird in
offshore waters in the PM.

Campbell Island Albatross: 12 (6). 1 immature offshore in the PM. 1
immature pelagic, remainder adults that were all pelagic.

Shy Albatross: 70 (30). all cauta: 14 inshore, 15 offshore, ~40 pelagic.
All adult except for a single immature at the last berley point.

Buller's Albatross: 25 (10). 1 inshore, remainder pelagic. All adults.

Grey-backed Storm-Petrel: 2 (1). Both pelagic.

Sooty Shearwater: 2 (1). 1 pelagic, 1 offshore in the PM.

Northern Giant-Petrel: 1 juvenile, 1 immature. Both pelagic.

Southern Giant-Petrel: 2 juveniles on plumage. Both pelagic.

Great-winged Petrel: 25 (10). /gouldi/. All pelagic. /macroptera/: a
single pelagic at the second berley point.

White-headed Petrel: 6 (2). 2 in offshore waters in the AM, remainder
pelagic. Mostly distant flybys.

Soft-plumaged Petrel: 1 very distant as we shifted from the first berley

GREY PETREL: 6 (3). All pelagic. Some put on a great show.

BLUE PETREL: 5 (2). All pelagic. One with a dishevelled feather in the
wing joined us at both berley points. At least one bird foraged just
meters from the back of the boat for an extended period in the berley trail.

Cape Petrel: 3 (3). All pelagic, all capense.


ANTARCTIC PRION: 3 (1) pelagic.

Fairy Prion: 12 (5). 7 pelagic, 5 offshore in the PM. At least 2 of the
pelagic birds were the thick, stubby billed birds that are thought to
have a subantarctic origin. There were also at least 2 typical (= local)
birds seen well.

Common Diving-Petrel: 10 (3). 6 offshore in the AM, 2 pelagic and
another 2 offshore in the PM.

Australasian Gannet: 35 (25). 5 inshore 2 offshore and 3 pelagic,
another 25 in a feeding flock offshore in the PM. All adult.

Black-faced Cormorant: 2 (2). Both inshore in the AM, another 10 at the

Crested Tern: 3 (1). All inshore.

Kelp Gull: 3 adults inshore in the AM and another inshore in the PM.
Also about 30 on the Hippolytes.

Pacific Gull:1 adult and 1 second year bird inshore in the AM.

Silver Gull: 5 inshore in the AM.

Also a pair of Peregrine Falcons over the sea in offshore waters (the
male carrying prey) and heading for the Hippolytes and a White-bellied
Sea-Eagle between the Hippolytes and the harbour.

Rohan Clarke

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