Eaglehawk Pelagic, Dec 5th 2015

To: birding-aus <>
Subject: Eaglehawk Pelagic, Dec 5th 2015
From: Paul Brooks <>
Date: Mon, 14 Dec 2015 21:44:09 +0000
Trip report from the quiet Eaglehawk trip of a couple of weekends ago.


Ruth Brozek, Karen Dick, Darryl Eggins, Ernie Hacker, Ian Halliday, Rob
Hamilton, Mona Loofs-Samorzewski, Glen Pacey, Lynn Richardson, R. Bruce
Richardson,  Nicole Sommer, Els Wakefield, and Paul Brooks (organiser and
report compiler)


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


Left port at 0715 hrs to circumnavigate the Hippolytes.  We reached our
first berley point, beyond the shelf break east of the Hippolytes, around
0915 hrs; the depth was 280 fathoms.  Berleyed here until 1040 hrs with
various fish frames and tuna oil.  After drifting out to 375 fathoms we
headed north at 1040 hrs to berley again over 550 fathoms.  We travelled
back up the slick at 1230 hrs before heading back into the shelf break to
berley over 85 fathoms for 10 minutes from 1300 hrs.  Motored straight back
to port to dock at 1450 hrs.


The strong westerlies during the week gave way to moderate southerlies the
day before the trip which continued for us.  A 10 knot southerly inshore
increased to 10-15 knots offshore with a swell of 1.5 metres and seas
rarely topping a metre.  As we crossed the shelf, the swell increased to 2
metres with seas rising.  The viewing conditions were dull under the
overcast sky and the first of some patches of drizzle came through.  Just
after we moved to our second stop, the wind picked up to 25 knots and
freshened before swinging around easterly and bringing more drizzle not
long after.  By the time we headed back for port the wind had swung back
SSE and dropped back to 15-20 knots.  Water temperature was 15.3 deg C
inshore, increasing to 15.8 deg C in deep water.


Oceanic Bottlenose Dolphin: pod of about 20 individuals breaching around
the boat inshore.

Australian/New Zealand Fur Seal: 7 (3) 6 on the Hippolytes and another

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

Southern Royal Albatross: 4 (2) All pelagic.

Black-browed Albatross: 3 (2) 1 sub-adult, an immature and a juvenile in
pelagic waters.

Shy Albatross: c. 60 (33) 1 inshore in the morning; 4 offshore; remainder

Southern Giant Petrel: 1 A juvenile in pelagic waters.

Northern Giant Petrel: 5 (4) All immatures in pelagic waters.

White-headed Petrel: Distant views of one bird in pelagic waters.

White-chinned Petrel: c. 20 (15) All in pelagic waters.

Sooty Shearwater: 4 All pelagic.

Short-tailed Shearwater: c. 5000 (c. 300) Absent inshore but very common

White-faced Storm Petrel: 1 pelagic.

Black-faced Cormorant: c.510 (c. 150) 10 inshore in the morning; c. 500 on
the Hippolytes.

Australasian Gannet: 12 (6) 1 inshore in the morning; 6 on the Hippolytes;
1 pelagic.

White-bellied Sea Eagle: 1 perched in a eucalypt just inside Pirates Bay in
the afternoon.

Sooty Oystercatcher: 1 on a rock shelf outside Pirates Bay.

Silver Gull: c. 210 (c.80) Inshore and on the Hippolytes.

Pacific Gull: 4 (2) 2 adults inshore, 3 adults on The Hippolytes.

Kelp Gull: 7 (2) 2 inshore in the morning; 4 around the Hippolyte and a
juvenile offshore in the afternoon.

Greater Crested Tern: 15 (3) 2 at the Hippolytes, 8 pelagic and 5 offshore
in the afternoon.

Jaeger sp.: 1 A bird seen distantly inshore in the morning looked like a
dark morph Parasitic Jaeger but too far away to be certain.

Welcome Swallow: 2 (2) Hawking around the top of the Hippolyte.

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