BIRDLIFE AUSTRALIA PELAGIC TRIP OFF EAGLEHAWK NECK
Friday 29^January 2016
OBSERVERS: Tim Bawden, Sarah Beavis, Ruth Brozek, Karen Dick, Darryl
Eggins, Brian Johnston, Judy Leitch, Mona Loofs-Samorzewski Angus McNab,
Jack Moorhead, Mark Stanley, Els Wakefield & Rohan Clarke (organiser).
WEATHER: 100% cloud with persistent rain throughout the day: mostly
light but with a solid downpour for almost half an hour on the return
leg. With respect to rainfall the wettest one day pelagic I have ever
done. Very dull conditions and the photos reflect this! 15 knot
north-easterly, moving around to the east and moderating slightly around
SEA: 1-2 m north-easterly swell inshore increasing to 2-3 m in offshore
waters and beyond the shelf. A wind-driven sea of 1-2 m meant the sea
was fairly lumpy but we didn't get too much spray. One seasick.
ACTIVITY: Departed at 0715. Headed east to the shelf, forgoing the usual
pass of the Hippolytes given the forecast for stronger easterly winds
through the day. Large numbers of shearwaters and a few albatross in
inshore and offshore waters. Crossed the shelf break (100 fathoms) at
0925 before making our first stop at 43º05.78’S 148º14.95'E over 300
fathoms of water where we berleyed with fish frames etc whilst drifting
back into 100 fathoms. Shifted slightly further north and back out to
300 fathoms for a second berley session from 1050. Headed back in at
1220 to dock at around 1510.
MAMMALS: Australian Fur Seal: a single around the boat at the second
Dolphin spp: a couple of dorsal fins seen briefly over 60 fathoms of
water in the AM but the species went unidentified.
BIRDS: 26 species (IOC) of seabird beyond the breakwater indicated about
average diversity. Highlights were Cook's and White-necked Petrel,
Buller's Shearwater and South-Polar Skua.
Wilson’s Storm-Petrel: 2 (1). Singletons at the second berley point.
White-faced Storm-Petrel: 62 (20). 4 inshore, 23 offshore, remainder
Wandering Albatross: 1 pelagic.
NZ Wandering Albatross: 4 pelagic - 3 gibsoni, 1 antipodensis.
Southern Royal Albatross: 1 immature at the second berley point.
Black-browed Albatross: 1 immature at the second berley point.
Shy Albatross: all cauta/steadi 60 (20). 9 inshore, 6 offshore,
remainder pelagic. All adult.
Buller’s Albatross: 16 (3). 2 inshore, 7 offshore, 7 pelagic. All adult.
Fairy Prion: 6 (2). 2 inshore, 1 offshore, 3 pelagic.
Short-tailed Shearwater: 7500 (1000). 5500 inshore, 130 offshore,
Sooty Shearwater: 9 (2). 7 inshore, 2 pelagic.
BULLER’S SHEARWATER: 1 offshore (about 60 fathoms) in the AM.
Hutton’s Shearwater: 1 pelagic.
Fluttering Shearwater: 40 (10). 35 inshore, 2 offshore, 3 pelagic.
Another ~10 ‘Fluttons’ that remained unidentified.
White-chinned Petrel: 12 (7). All pelagic, though 2 followed us back
into offshore waters.
Great-winged Petrel: all gouldii 30 (12). 2 offshore (~80 fathoms) in
the AM, remainder pelagic.
GOULD’S PETREL: 1 pelagic at the second berley point, but only seen
briefly by some.
COOK'S PETREL: 1 pelagic just after we started heading back in. At least
one other cookalaria that might have been a Cook's 'got away' from us.
WHITE-NECKED PETREL: 1 made several casual passes at the second berley
point. About the 5th record for Tasmania that we are aware of.
Australasian Gannet: 1 adult inshore in the AM.
Black-faced Cormorant: 4 inshore in the AM.
Jaeger spp: A brief flyby in offshore waters. I called it as an Arctic
but as soon as it was gone started second guessing it and now think it
was a Long-tailed....
SOUTH-POLAR SKUA: 1 darker intermediate bird made a very quick pass at
the first berley point.
Crested Tern: 1 inshore in the AM.
Silver Gull: 4 inshore in AM.
Kelp Gull: 1 adult in the AM.
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