Eaglehawk Pelagic – June 26th, 2016
Hazel Britton, Ruth Brozek, Karen Dick, Ernie Hacker, Ian Halliday, Rob
Hamilton, Mona Loofs-Samorzewski, George Madani, Angus McNab, Nicole
Sommer, Alanna Vivian, Els Wakefield, and Paul Brooks (organiser and report
The Pauletta, skippered by John Males, with deckhand Adam Mackintosh.
Left port at 0730 hrs, heading south to circumnavigate Cheverton Rock,
before investigating a group of feeding birds and seals nearby, which
proved to contain a couple of Southern Fulmars, with three more loafing on
the water nearby! Headed south-east without going around the Hippolyte to
set a slick over 270 fathoms at 0945 hrs. Berleyed with various fish
frames, chicken skins and tuna oil, drifting to 400 fathoms before going
back up the slick at 1100 hrs, then drifting back out to 440 fathoms.
Headed back to port at 1220 hrs, via the Hippolyte, docking at 1500 hrs.
Had a stop in offshore waters for a curious fulmar.
Left port in a very light breeze with a low swell and surprisingly mild air
temperature. In offshore waters the swell picked up to around 1-2 metres
but seas were negligible in the 5-10 knot breeze. Just short of the
shelf-break, the wind increased to 10-15 knots from the north-west and the
swell went up to 2-3 metres with seas under 1 metre. The wind fluctuated
throughout the day but never topped 15 knots. Water temperature was 14.5
deg C in all waters. Air temperature was very mild and the majority of the
trip was sunny, with less than 50% cloud cover all day. None seasick.
Australian/New Zealand Fur Seal: c.50 Around 40 on the Hippolytes,
including several pups, plus several others throughout the day.
Short-beaked Common Dolphin: 6 A small pod encountered in inshore waters in
Birds (IOC v 6.1 – max at one time in brackets):
Grey-backed Storm Petrel: 2 (1) Pelagic – first seen briefly when we
motored back up the slick, the second showed briefly later in the day.
Antipodean Albatross: 1 A single adult male *gibsoni* made several passes
and landed behind the boat in pelagic waters, following us back into
offshore waters on the ride home.
Southern Royal Albatross: 4 (2) One bird appeared well inside the
shelf-break and followed us into pelagic waters; a juvenile and 2 adults
gave prolonged views in pelagic waters.
Black-browed Albatross: 2 (1) 1 adult made a brief fly-by in offshore
waters in the morning; 1 immature in pelagic waters.
Campbell Albatross: 3 (2) 1 adult and 2 immatures in pelagic waters.
Shy Albatross: c. 50 (c. 30) 1 inshore in the morning; 7 offshore in the
morning; remainder pelagic. Mainly adult *cauta/steadi* with 5 immatures.
Buller’s Albatross: 10 (7) 1 inshore in the morning; 2 offshore in the
morning; 2 pelagic which followed us into offshore waters and were there
joined by 5 more birds. All adult.
Southern Giant Petrel: 1 juvenile offshore in the afternoon.
Northern Giant Petrel: 3 (1) 1 immature offshore in the morning; 1 immature
in pelagic waters; 1 immature offshore in the afternoon.
SOUTHERN FULMAR: 5 (5) 5 birds, feeding in a mixed species flock and
loafing on the water, inside the Hippolyte in the morning. 2 birds
encountered in offshore waters on the ride home – possibly the same birds
seen in the morning.
Cape Petrel: 2 (2) One bird of race *australe* followed us from offshore
waters to beyond the shelf-break and remained with us all day*. *A
nominate race bird appeared in pelagic waters
Fairy Prion: 2 (2) Both birds encountered in pelagic waters. One bird hung
around the boat for a while but the other kept flying and was only seen by
Great-winged Petrel: 8 (8) All pelagic; stayed in the slick, but at a
distance with some close passes, for much of the day; difficult to judge if
any turnover occurred. 2 nominate race, a few race *gouldi* and some
White-headed Petrel: 1 bird showed briefly and distantly in pelagic waters
towards the end of the day.
Providence Petrel: 2 (1) 1 bird screamed up the slick and showed briefly in
pelagic waters; a second bird showed for longer but at greater distance
some time later.
Soft-plumaged Petrel 2 (1) 1 bird showed briefly and distantly in pelagic
waters; another bird made a brief, distant showing near the shelf-break on
the way home.
Short-tailed Shearwater: 7 (4) 3 inshore in the morning; 4 offshore in the
Fluttering Shearwater: 1 bird in the feeding scrum near Cheverton Rock.
Common Diving Petrel: 6 (2) All inshore near the Hippolyte.
Black-faced Cormorant: c. 20 (c. 12) Inshore and around the Hippolytes.
Australasian Gannet: 2 (1) 1 inshore in the morning and another offshore in
White-faced Heron: 1 on the Hippolyte in the afternoon.
White-bellied Sea Eagle: 2 (2) near mortally harassing a shearwater inshore
in the afternoon.
Silver Gull: c. 60 (c. 30) c. 50 inshore and 6 offshore in the morning.
Pacific Gull: 2 (2) Adults inshore in the morning.
Kelp Gull: c.120 (c. 60) Inshore and around the Hippolyte in the morning –
adults, immatures and juveniles.
Greater Crested Tern: c. 35 (12) 2 inshore in the morning; c. 20 around the
Hippolytes; 7 offshore in the morning; remainder pelagic.
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