BirdLife Australia Pelagic Trip off Eaglehawk Neck, Tasmania 30th Januar

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Subject: BirdLife Australia Pelagic Trip off Eaglehawk Neck, Tasmania 30th January 2016
From: Rohan Clarke <>
Date: Sun, 31 Jan 2016 10:33:41 +0000
Hi All,
Here's the second of two trip reports from the weekend.

Saturday 30 January 2016

OBSERVERS: Tim Bawden, Jo Culican, Brian Johnston, Peter Kyne, Chris 
Lester, Rosemary Lester, Angus McNab, Jack Moorhead, Bill Moorhead, Paul 
Newman, Mark Stanley, Andrew Walter & Rohan Clarke (organiser).

WEATHER: 50% cloud as we departed, clearing to about 30% by midday. No 
rain. 10-15 knot easterly through much of the day, moderating slightly 
around 11 AM.

SEA: 2 m north-easterly swell inshore increasing to 2-3 m beyond the 
shelf. A wind-driven sea of 1-2 m meant the sea was fairly lumpy but we 
didn't pitch and roll too much and enjoyed a following sea on the return 

ACTIVITY: Sailed at 0715. Headed east to the shelf, forgoing the usual 
pass of the Hippolytes given the large sea and the forecast for stronger 
winds. Good numbers of shearwaters and a few albatross in inshore and 
offshore waters with a couple of brief stops for interesting shearwaters 
in these areas. Crossed the shelf break (100 fathoms) at 0915 before 
making our first stop at 43º03’05”S 148º16’08”E over 300 fathoms of 
water where we berleyed with fish frames etc. As we were drifting west 
back onto the shelf we then moved further out to 510 fathoms and did a 
long drift and berley session from 1015-1240 finish back in 200 fathoms 
of water. Good numbers of birds in 200 fathoms of water but a bit quiet 
over 500 fathoms. Headed back in at 1240 to dock at around 1500.

MAMMALS: Australian Fur Seals: a single in Pirates Bay when we returned 
in the PM.

Common Dolphin: A pod of about 8 in the AM in inshore waters.

BIRDS: 28 species (IOC) of seabird beyond the breakwater indicated good 
diversity. Highlights were a trifecta of uncommon and rare shearwaters 
for Tas, a long-staying Long-tailed Jaeger and a brief but satisfying 
Gould’s Petrel.

Wilson’s Storm-Petrel: 2 (1). A couple of flybys at the second berley 

White-faced Storm-Petrel: 130 (90). 5 offshore in the PM, remainder 

Wandering Albatross: 3 pelagic. 1 adult male, 2 transitional birds.

NZ Wandering Albatross: 1 pelagic.

Black-browed Albatross: 1 immature at the first berley point.

Shy Albatross: all cauta/steadi 70 (30). 7 inshore, 6 offshore, 
remainder pelagic. 1 immature pelagic, remainder adult.

Salvin’s Albatross: 1 cracking adult at the second berley point.

Buller’s Albatross: 10 (4). 1 inshore, 3 offshore, remainder pelagic. 
All adult.

Fairy Prion: 10 (2). 3 offshore in AM, 1 inshore in PM, remainder pelagic.

Short-tailed Shearwater: 5000 (500). 1550 inshore, 160 offshore, 
remainder pelagic.

Sooty Shearwater: 60 (5), 2 inshore, 50 offshore, 8 pelagic.

BULLER’S SHEARWATER: 1 inshore (about 45 fathoms) in the AM.

SUB-ANTARCTIC LITTLE SHEARWATER: 1 flyby in the AM in inshore waters was 
seen well by many on the boat. A second Little Shearwater in the PM in 
about the same area as the previous sighting was not seen well enough to 
separate elegans from assimilis.

WEDGE-TAILED SHEARWATER: 2(2). 2 together at the first berley point. 
Easily the rarest bird for the two back-to-back pelagics though I am not 
sure those from NSW and Qld were that impressed! There are just a 
handful of previous Tasmanian records.

Hutton’s Shearwater: 3 inshore in the PM.

Fluttering Shearwater: 30 (5). 8 inshore, remainder offshore in the AM. 
Perhaps another 20 ‘Fluttons’ that remained unidentified.

White-chinned Petrel: 20 (8). All pelagic.

Great-winged Petrel: all gouldii 35 (15). All pelagic.

GOULD’S PETREL: 1 pelagic at the second berley point made a single 
decent pass of the boat. An early call as it approached meant all 
present connected.

Common Diving Petrel: 1 inshore in the AM, 1 inshore in the PM.

Little Penguin: 1 inshore in the PM

Australasian Gannet: 2 adults inshore in the PM.

Black-faced Cormorant: 4 inshore in the AM, another 5 inshore in the PM.

LONG-TAILED JAEGER: 3 pelagic at the first berly point. All immature. A 
first year bird followed us to the second berley point and remained with 
us for over an hour (though annoyingly it was mostly positioned so we 
were looking into the sun).

Crested Tern: 2 inshore in the AM, another 2 inshore in the PM.

Silver Gull: 1 inshore in AM, another 5 inshore in PM.

Kelp Gull: 1 adult in the AM, 5 adults and 1 juv in the PM.

Pacific Gull: 1 adult inshore in the PM.

Rohan Clarke

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