Here's the trip report for the Sunday trip off Eaglehawk Neck, Tasmania
last weekend (11th September 2016)
Trip report for the Eaglehawk Neck, Tasmania pelagic on Sunday 11
OBSERVERS: Elliot Leach, Karen Dick, Peter Vaughan, Els Wakefield, Jenny
Ostenfeld, Bruce Wedderburn, Heyn De Cock, Duade Paton, Mark Carey, Gil
Langfield, Jarrah Kearney, Geoff Bromfield and Rohan Clarke (report
WEATHER: High hazy cloud with ~80% cover in the early AM clearing to 50%
through the midmorning before an impressive looking southerly front with
a wall of cloud went through at around midday. Some light rain with the
front. Wind from the NW to 10 knots through the morning, at times easing
to 5 knots and variable. Whilst the front looked impressive, and with
its passage the wind change to the SW was abrupt, the wind speeds stayed
in the 5-10 knot range, only increasing gradually to 15 knots as we
headed back in. Cool to cold.
SEA: A relatively clean NW swell to 2 m inshore, increasing to 3 m in
pelagic waters. A 0.5-1 m chop on top of this but the ride was quite
comfortable. If anything the sea flattened a little with the passage of
the front. Relatively little spray and 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. A few birds
in inshore and offshore waters but not as busy as the previous day.
Crossed the shelf break (100 fathoms) at 0910 before making our first
stop at 43º06’23”S 148º14’36”E over 260 fathoms of water where we
berleyed with fish discards. We remained here for about an hour before
shifting SE by a couple of miles to put us over 620 fathoms. Here we
berleyed for another 2.5 hrs. A near perfect combination of wind and
opposing tide meant we drifted no more than 100 m during this 2.5 hour
session and rather than having the usual long berley trail the vessel
sat in the middle of small berley patch throughout. Heading in at about
1245, crossing the shelf at 1320 and docked just on 1500.
NZ Fur Seal. 5 fur seals hauled out on the Hipploytes, of which at least
1 was a NZ Fur Seal.
BIRDS: 32 species of seabird beyond the breakwater indicated excellent
diversity. The clear highlight was an Antarctic Tern that made several
passes of the boat in pelagic waters. Soft-plumaged, Providence and
White-headed Petrels were also nice as were 10 species of albatross
including many great albatross and 2 Salvin’s Albatross. In comparison
to the previous day the small numbers of prions and the absence of
storm-petrels was a notable contrast. We ended up with 41 species of
seabird for the weekend.
Southern Royal Albatross: 10 (4). 1 (adult) offshore in AM, remainder
pelagic. 1 immature, remainder adult.
NORTHERN ROYAL ALBATROSS: 3 (3). All pelagic at the second berley point.
All adult, one was in obvious primary moult.
NZ Wandering Albatross: 12 (4). All pelagic, but at least 2 followed us
back in. All looked to be ssp gibsoni.
Wandering Albatross (exulens): 11 (5). 8 adults including 3 ‘Snowy’
birds, 3 worn juveniles. 1 adult in offshore waters, remainder pelagic.
Black-browed Albatross: 5 (3). 1 immature offshore, 1 immature and 3
Campbell Albatross: 2 (2). 1 sharp looking adult and 1 immature, both
Shy Albatross: cauta/steadi 200 (100). 2 adults inshore, 1 immature, 17
adults offshore and 6 juveniles, 14 immature and ~170 adults pelagic.
SALVIN’S ALBATROSS: 2 (2). 2 sub-adults in pelagic waters. One stayed
with us for most of the day.
Buller’s Albatross: 5 (2). 1 offshore, 4 pelagic. All adult.
Indian Yellow-nosed Albatross: 5 (2). 1 adult inshore, 1 adult offshore,
1 juvenile, 1 immature and 1 adult pelagic.
Northern Giant-Petrel: 20 (11). 1 juvenile and 1 immature offshore, 3
juvenile, ~15 immature pelagic. At least 10 followed us back into
offshore waters in the PM.
Common Diving-Petrel: 13 (3). 11 in offshore waters, 2 pelagic. Mostly
as ones and twos.
Fairy Prion: 5 (3). All pelagic at the second berley stop.
Sooty Shearwater: 10 (3). 1 offshore in the AM, remainder pelagic.
Short-tailed Shearwater: 4 (2). All pelagic.
Hutton’s Shearwater: 3 (1). All pelagic.
White-chinned Petrel: 1 pelagic.
Cape Petrel: 6 (4). All ssp capense. All pelagic, but a couple followed
us back to offshore waters.
Grey-faced Petrel (gouldi): 55 (15). 1 offshore over 88 fathoms in the
AM remainder pelagic.
Great-winged Petrel (macroptera): 4(1). All pelagic.
SOFT-PLUMAGED PETREL: 1 pelagic at the second berley point. A close but
rather brief pass.
WHITE-HEADED PETREL: 3 (1). All pelagic.
PROVIDENCE PETREL: 5 (1). All pelagic.
Australasian Gannet: 11 (4). All adult. All inshore.
Black-faced Cormorant: 2 inshore in the AM. Also 20 on the Hippolytes.
Crested Tern: 8 (2). 1 imm, 1 adult offshore in the AM, 4 pelagic and
anther 2 inshore in the PM.
ANTARCTIC TERN: 1 in second winter plumage at the second berley point.
It was called early so people were ready with cameras when it flew past
(pics of this bird were posted on this page on Sunday afternoon).
White-fronted Tern: 3 (3). All pelagic and relatively distant.
Southern Skua: 1 inshore in the PM flew past at mid-distance.
Silver Gull: 55 (40). All inshore in AM; about the same number inshore
in the PM.
Kelp Gull: 70 (40). 45 adults, 5 x juvenile, 2 x 2nd year in inshore
waters, 5 adults at the Hippolytes, 1 juvenile and 1 adult offshore.
Another 6 juvenile, 1 x 2nd year, 4 adults in offshore waters in the PM.
Pacific Gull: 8 (4). 2 juveniles and 6 adult in inshore waters in the AM.
An adult White-bellied Sea-eagle in flight near the Hippolytes rounded
out the list.
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