Pelagic trip report for Eaglehawk Neck, Tas. Saturday 10 Sep 16

To: "" <>
Subject: Pelagic trip report for Eaglehawk Neck, Tas. Saturday 10 Sep 16
From: Rohan Clarke <>
Date: Mon, 12 Sep 2016 11:31:39 +0000
Hi All,

Here's the trip report for the pelagic that got off Eaglehawk Neck, 
Tasmania on Saturday 10 September 2016.



OBSERVERS: Elliot Leach, Mike Honeyman, Karen Dick, Heyn de Kock, Duade 
Paton, Bruce Wedderburn, Mona Loofs-Samorzewski, Jenny Ostenfeld, Paul 
Elliot, Michael Vaughan, George Vaughan, Els Wakefield and Rohan Clarke 
(report compiler).

WEATHER: Heavy cloud and light steady rain as we departed. Rain eased 
once we were a few miles away from the coast and by midday it had 
cleared to 50% cloud to allow a few patches of sunlight. Wind from the 
SW to 15 knots in the early AM, increasing to a maximum of about 20 
knots beyond the shelf. Cool to cold.

SEA: A bit bumpy inshore with a northerly swell bouncing off the cliffs 
of Tasman Peninsula to provide a messy sea as we headed out. Northerly 
swell to 2 m inshore, increasing to 2.5-3 m in pelagic waters – a 
strange situation as we also had a 1 m southerly swell (going in the 
exact opposite direction). A 1 m chop on top of this meant we rocked and 
rolled a bit, but fortunately didn’t pitch about too much. A bit of 
spray when underway meant one of the side screens had to be lowered. No 
one obviously seasick.

ACTIVITY: Sailed at 0710. Headed out past the Hippolytes, passing down 
the north-eastern side before proceeding to the shelf break. Quite a lot 
of birds in inshore and offshore waters. For example, our first 
Grey-faced Petrel was over just 34 fathoms in inshore waters and we had 
5 species of albatross and 3 species of pterodroma by the time we 
reached the shelf. Crossed the shelf break (100 fathoms) at 0915 before 
making our first stop at 43º06’20”S 148º14’37”E over 270 fathoms of 
water where we berleyed with fish discards. Because we were drifting 
quite quickly we stayed on the one berley trail all day – moving perhaps 
4 nautical miles northeast to finish over about 600 fathoms of water. 
Heading in at about 1230; a bit earlier than normal owing to the 
expected rough ride home. Crossed the shelf at 1245 and docked just 
before 1500.

MAMMALS: Fur Seal spp. About 5 hauled out on the Hipploytes and another 
at sea but views were distant and they weren’t identified.

Common Dolphin: A group of 3 in the early AM not long after we’d left 
Pirates Bay.

BIRDS: 37 species of seabird beyond the breakwater indicated exceptional 
diversity for a Tassie pelagic. The clear highlight was the Broad-billed 
Prion. Also Grey Petrels, 10 species of albatross and generally large 
numbers of seabirds all day.

Southern Royal Albatross: 6 (2). 1 offshore in AM, 5 pelagic. 4 adults, 
1 juvenile, 1 immature.

Northern Royal Albatross: 2 (1). Both pelagic. 1 adult and 1 immature.

NZ Wandering Albatross: 18 (8). All pelagic, but at least 2 followed us 
back in. One female antipodensis (see image) made quite a few passes of 
the boat, the rest looked like gibsoni.

Wandering Albatross (exulens): 7 (3). 5 adults including 2 Snowy birds, 
1 bleached juvenile. All pelagic.

Black-browed Albatross: 8 (2). 1 adult, 1 juv offshore, 2 adults, 2 juv, 
2 imm pelagic.

Campbell Albatross: 2 – 1 adult and 1 immature pelagic.

Shy Albatross: cauta/steadi 140 (60). 8 adults inshore, 30 adults, 1 
immature, 2, juveniles offshore and 6 juveniles, 3 immature and ~90 
adults pelagic.

SALVIN’S ALBATROSS: 2 (1). 1 adult and 1 sub-adult. Both pelagic.

Buller’s Albatross: 8 (3). 2 inshore, 3 offshore, remainder pelagic. All 

Indian Yellow-nosed Albatross: 3 (1). 1 adult inshore, 1 immature and 1 
adult pelagic.

Northern Giant-Petrel: 15 (8). 2 immature inshore, 1 immature offshore, 
10 immature and 2 juvenile pelagic. At least 8 followed us back into 
offshore waters in the PM.

Southern Giant-Petrel: 1 juvenile in offshore waters followed us out to 
pelagic waters and fed ravenously behind the boat for most of the day.

Wilson’s Storm-Petrel: 1 pelagic.

White-faced Storm-Petrel: 5 (4). All pelagic.

Grey-backed Storm-Petrel: 7 (5). All pelagic.

Common Diving-Petrel: 5 (1). 4 in offshore waters, 1 pelagic.

BROAD-BILLED PRION: 1 made a couple of quick passes of the boat in 
pelagic waters.

SALVIN’S PRION: 1 pelagic soon after we arrived at the berley point. A 
couple of other possibles.

Antarctic Prion: 10 (5). Fair numbers around the boat. Several of these 
best considered ‘Salvins/Antarctic’ Prions

Slender-billed Prion: 2 (1). Both pelagic.

Fairy Prion: 70 (30). 10 offshore, remainder pelagic.

Sooty Shearwater: 4 (1). 1 offshore in the AM, 2 pelagic and 1 offshore 
in the PM.

Short-tailed Shearwater: 6 (2). 2 offshore in the AM, 4 pelagic.

GREY PETREL: 4 (1). All pelagic. Each bird hung around for at least a 
few minutes.

White-chinned Petrel: 8 (2). 1 in offshore waters, remainder pelagic.

Cape Petrel: 12 (8). 1 ssp australe, remainder ssp capense. All pelagic, 
but a couple followed us back into offshore waters.

Grey-faced Petrel (gouldi): 120 (60). 1 inshore over 35 fathoms was 
exceptional, another 4 in offshore waters near the Hyploytes,
remainder pelagic. This is an exceptional count for a Tassie pelagic.

Great-winged Petrel (macroptera): 2 (1). One offshore, 1 pelagic.

WHITE-HEADED PETREL: 5 (2). 1 offshore over 90 fathoms, remainder pelagic.

PROVIDENCE PETREL: 7 (2). All pelagic as ones and twos.

Australasian Gannet: 10 (4). All adult. 8 inshore, 2 offshore.

Black-faced Cormorant: 4 offshore. Also ~10 on the Hippolytes.

Crested Tern: 6 (2). 2 offshore in the AM, 2 pelagic and anther 2 
inshore in the AM.

White-fronted Tern: 3 (2). 2 distant terns at the berley point and 
another in pelagic waters as we headed back in. Photos show they were 
White-fronted Terns but we couldn’t ID them in the field cos they were 
distant specks.

Silver Gull: 4 inshore in AM, another 2 inshore in the PM. All adults.
Kelp Gull: 20 (10). 2 adults, 2 juveniles, 1 x 2nd year in inshore 
waters, 4 adults offshore. Another 10 or so distant birds inshore in the PM.

Pacific Gull: 2 adults just as we left Pirates Bay in the AM and a 2nd 
year bird near the Hippolytes.

Rohan Clarke

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