BirdLife Australia pelagic report for Portland, Vic, 5 June 2016

To: "" <>
Subject: BirdLife Australia pelagic report for Portland, Vic, 5 June 2016
From: Rohan Clarke <>
Date: Sat, 18 Jun 2016 06:33:29 +0000
Hi All,
Here's the trip report for the pelagic trip that got out off Portland, 
Vic a few weeks back.

BirdLife Australia pelagic trip off Portland, Vic, 5 June 2016

OBSERVERS: Tim Bawden, Kevin Bartram, Paul Dodd, Ruth Woodrow, Jennifer 
Spry, Scott Baker, John McRae, Steve Davidson, Jim Wright, David Adams, 
David Sinclair & Rohan Clarke.

WEATHER: Generally overcast and dull with 100% cloud cover for most of 
the day. Very occasional patches of sunlight broke through for very 
brief periods and cloud cover reduced to about 80% by the time we were 
heading back in. Generally good visibility. Cool to mild. Westerly wind 
to around 10 knots throughout the day.

SEA: 1-2 m swell with rather mild 1 m sea. Seas moderated slightly 
through the day but the swell well remained much the same throughout. We 
copped a bit of spray whilst underway, mostly because the boat travels 
at 13-14 knots when underway. No one obviously seasick.

ACTIVITY: Departed Portland Harbour at 0715 EST. Headed directly to the 
shelf break. A few birds in inshore waters around large krill swarms 
visible at the sea surface between 28 and 40 fathoms but these were 
mostly gulls and terns. This seems especially late in the season for 
visible krill swarms presumably driven by the local upwelling. We 
crossed the shelf break (100 fathoms) at around 0920. We berleyed with 
shark liver and fish mince at three locations, first at 38º43.63’S 
141º20.84’E, then at 38º45.31.51’S 141º18.00’E and finally at 38º42.41’S 
141º23.32’E before heading back in at 1430. A brief stop for a 
White-fronted Tern that passed across the back of the boat in inshore 
waters before we cruised down the eastern side of Lawrence Rocks before 
returning to the harbour at about 1650.

MAMMALS: Australian Fur Seal: ~15 at Lawrence Rocks. Also 2 in inshore 
waters in the AM.

BIRDS: 20 species (IOC taxonomy) beyond the harbour indicated low 
diversity. No clear highlights but having a good number of albatross 
around the boat is always nice.

Great-winged Petrel: 85 (50). All pelagic.

Grey-faced Petrel: 1 pelagic.

Fairy Prion: 180 (80). 90 inshore, 30 offshore, 70 pelagic. Most were 
over obvious krill patches in inshore waters in the PM. Beyond the shelf 
we attracted a maximum of 30 at the first berley point.

Northern Giant-Petrel: 4 (3). 2 juveniles and 2 immatures all pelagic.

Sooty Shearwater: 3 (1) all pelagic.

Fluttering Shearwater: 2 inshore in the PM.

Wandering Albatross (exulens): 2 individuals on plumage. One female, 1 
older adult male. Both pelagic.

NZ Wandering Albatross (gibsoni/antipodensis): 2 individuals on plumage. 
At least 1 adult male. All pelagic.

Black-browed Albatross: 24 (5) 7 adults inshore, 3 adults, 1 immature 
offshore, 8 adults, 4 immature, 1 juvenile pelagic.

Campbell Albatross: 1 adult pelagic. This wasn’t called on the day but 
was found in photographs a day or two later.

Shy Albatross all cauta: 62 (25). 4 adults, 1 immature inshore; 1 adult, 
1 juvenile offshore; 45 adults, 4 immature, 6 juveniles pelagic.

Yellow-nosed Albatross: 8 (5). 1 immature, 7 adult. All pelagic.

Grey-Backed Storm-Petrel: 15 (5). All pelagic.

Wilson’s Storm-Petrel: 46 (20). 45 pelagic, 1 inshore in the PM over 
just 30 fathoms.

Australasian Gannet: 137 (100). 120 adults, 5 juveniles inshore, 10 
adults offshore, 1 adult, 1 juvenile pelagic.

Pacific Gull: 1 adult on Lawrence Rocks

Silver Gull: 230 (110).  All inshore. Mostly as flocks over swarms of 
krill at 20-30 fathoms.

Crested Tern: 110 (50). All inshore.

White-fronted Tern: 1 immature over inshore waters in the PM.

Black-faced Cormorant: 50 (35). All inshore.

[~5 Welcome Swallows on Lawrence Rocks rounded out the list]

Rohan Clarke

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