Eaglehawk Pelagic Trip Report, March 20 2016

To: birding-aus <>
Subject: Eaglehawk Pelagic Trip Report, March 20 2016
From: Paul Brooks <>
Date: Thu, 31 Mar 2016 10:22:34 +0000

Bryan Arnold, Kristin Arnold, Karen Dick, Peter Dick, Darryl Eggins, Rob
Hamilton, Mona Loofs-Samorzewski, Nicole Sommer, Michael Vaughan, Peter
Vaughan, George Vaughan, Els Wakefield, and Paul Brooks (organiser and
report compiler)


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


Left port at 0715 hrs and headed south towards the Hippolytes; after going
around Cheverton Rock (Little Hippolyte), we dispensed with the customary
circumnavigation of the Hippolyte due to the sloppy conditions.  Headed
east, to berley over 365 fathoms at 0930 hrs, drifting north-easterly out
to 498 fathoms.  Berleyed until 1230 hrs with various fish frames, chicken
skins and tuna oil.  Headed back in to the shelf break, to berley over 82
fathoms for around 20 minutes, then headed for home, docking at 1505 hrs.


Left port in c. 10 knot southerlies with a 2 m swell from the south-east
and overcast skies.   In offshore waters, the swell picked up over 2.5
metres with occasional waves up to 4 metres and a second swell making
things interesting.  The southerly wind also picked up, approaching twenty
knots at times.  Around midday, the wind dropped back to around 10 knots
and the swell dropped back a bit but remained lumpy and confused.  Water
temperature was approx. 18.5 deg C inshore, rising to 20.2 out wide.  Three


Common Dolphin: a few inshore in the morning.

Australian/New Zealand Fur Seal: c. 70 (45) on and around the Hippolytes.


1 billfish, possibly a Swordfish or Striped Marlin, cut the surface a
couple of times with its tail fin close to the boat in pelagic waters.

Shortfin Mako Shark: 2 in pelagic waters.

Birds (IOC v 5.3 – max at one time in brackets):

Wandering-type Albatross: 5 (2) All in pelagic waters.  Taxonomy not yet
resolved but possibly 2 Wandering Albatross and 2-3 Antipodean Albatross
(race *gibsoni*).

Southern Royal Albatross: 1 (1) Pelagic waters.

NORTHERN ROYAL ALBATROSS: 1 adult in pelagic waters, seen twice with almost
an hour between sightings (possibly 2 birds).

Black-browed Albatross: 2 (1) 1 adult and 1 immature.

Shy Albatross: c. 80 (30+) 20 inshore in the morning; 6 offshore in the
morning; remainder pelagic, including 2 immatures.

Indian Yellow-nosed Albatross: 1 adult in pelagic waters.

Buller’s Albatross: 22 (6) 14 inshore in the morning; 3 offshore; 8 pelagic.

Northern Giant Petrel: 1 in pelagic waters.

Fairy Prion: 8 (5) All in pelagic waters.

Great-winged Petrel: 2 birds of race *gouldi* in pelagic waters.

White-headed Petrel: 2 (1) Both pelagic.

SOFT-PLUMAGED PETREL: 1 A single bird did a couple of fly-bys just after we
headed back for port.

White-chinned Petrel: 7 (7) All in pelagic waters.

Sooty Shearwater: 2 (1) Both in pelagic waters.

Short-tailed Shearwater: c. 1500 (c. 400) Mainly absent inshore with a few
large flocks offshore.  Smaller flocks encountered in pelagic waters.

Fluttering Shearwater: 1 observed in inshore waters by a couple of

Hutton’s Shearwater: 2 (2) Inshore in the morning.

Flutton’s Shearwater: 1 (1) Inshore in the morning

Grey-backed Storm Petrel: 2 (1) Pelagic waters; both birds in primary moult.

White-faced Storm Petrel: c. 2 (1) Both birds in pelagic waters.

Common Diving Petrel: 7 (3) 3 inshore in the morning, 1 offshore in the
morning and 3 offshore in the afternoon.

Black-faced Cormorant: c. 400 (c. 110) 63 inshore in the morning; remainder
on and around the Hippolytes.

Australasian Gannet: 14 (5) 13 inshore in the morning, 1 pelagic.

Masked Lapwing: c. 20 on a rock shelf outside Pirates Bay in the morning.

Silver Gull: 45 (c.12) Inshore and on the Hippolytes plus 5 birds in
pelagic waters.

Pacific Gull: 2 Adults on the Hippolyte.

Kelp Gull: 19 (5) Inshore and around the Hippolyte in the morning.

Greater Crested Tern: 3 (1) In pelagic waters.

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