Eaglehawk Pelagic Trip Report - July 1st, 2018

To: birding-aus <>
Subject: Eaglehawk Pelagic Trip Report - July 1st, 2018
From: Paul Brooks <>
Date: Thu, 16 Aug 2018 21:39:18 +1000

Ruth Brozek, Eve Howard, Mona Loofs-Samorzewski, Andrea Magnussen, Dave
Newman, Lauren Roman, Mark Simpson, David Stowe, Peter Vaughan, Aron
Verloop and Paul Brooks (organiser and report compiler)


The Pauletta, skippered by John Males, with deckhand Hugh Smith.


A solid day without ever reaching great heights.  Calm conditions in the
south-east of Tasmania for the preceding few days gave way to strong
westerlies the night before the trip but they weren’t enough to blow
anything too special our way.  The strong south-westerly change later in
the morning failed to produce anything in the way of new birds after a
promising start to the day.  Highlights were a Slender-billed Prion, a
Brown Skua, and good numbers of Providence Petrel for an Eaglehawk trip.


Left port at 0730 hrs and headed straight down to the Hippolytes,
circumnavigating the rocks before heading east to the shelf break, stopping
briefly over 130 fathoms to inspect a flock of terns feeding with some
albatrosses. We pulled up over 290 fathoms at 0940 hrs to berley, drifting
west to 480 fathoms at 1120 hrs.  We then headed south, stopping over 415
fathoms at 1145 hrs to drop more berley.  We drifted west to 560 fathoms
then headed back to port at 1240 hrs, docking at 1500 hrs.


A strong north-westerly was blowing in Pirates Bay before we set out under
clear skies. Around the corner, the wind dropped right out and seas were
under 0.5 m with a low swell.  Offshore, the south-westerly swell rose to
around 1.5 m and, as we headed further out, a second swell of a metre hit
from the north, making the ride a little bumpy.  Before the shelf-break,
the breeze turned westerly and rose to ~15 knots, pushing the sea up
towards 1 m.  From around 1115 hrs, the wind swung a bit more
south-westerly and picked up to 15-20 knots, pushing seas up again; the
swell also rose to 2-3 m.  Water temperature was 14.2 deg C inshore,
dropping to 13.9 deg C for a while offshore, but rising back up to 14.2 deg
C out wide.  One seasick.


Humpback Whale: 1 seen briefly by the skipper offshore in the morning
wasn’t seen by anyone else.

Australian/New Zealand Fur Seal: 27 (9) On the Hippolytes.

Birds (IOC v 8.1 – max at one time in brackets):

Grey-backed Storm Petrel: 3 (3) Pelagic.

Antipodean Albatross: 3 (3) 3 adult male *gibsoni*.  One bird had an oddly
large head and neck with a small eye but the bill appeared to be consistent
with *gibsoni*.

Wandering-type Albatross: 1 (1) 1 young bird seen briefly in pelagic waters
as we motored back to port.

Southern Royal Albatross: 3 (1) 2 young immatures and an older immature in
pelagic waters.

Black-browed Albatross: 1 An adult in pelagic waters.

Campbell Albatross: 2 (2) An adult and an immature in pelagic waters.

Black-browed type Albatross: 1 An immature in pelagic waters which was
probably a Campbell Albatross; the eyes appeared to be turning light.

Shy Albatross: c. 70 (37) 6 inshore in the morning; 24 offshore in the
morning; remainder pelagic.  Mainly adults with 5 immature birds – several
adults showed breeding flush on the bill, probably *cauta*.

Indian Yellow-nosed Albatross: 5 (2) 2 inshore in the morning; 2 offshore
in the morning; 1 pelagic.

Buller’s Albatross: 10 (4) 3 inshore in the morning; 2 offshore in the
morning; 5 pelagic.

Northern Giant Petrel: 1 An immature in pelagic waters.

Cape Petrel: 3 (3) All pelagic.  2 nominate birds, 1 *australe*.

SLENDER-BILLED PRION: 1 Arrived at the boat not too long after we started
berleying and hung around for nearly an hour but didn’t approach closely
and went missing for long periods.  Identified as the same bird by a loose
feather on the left upperwing.

Fairy Prion: c. 120 (c. 30) 8 inshore in the morning; 41 offshore in the
morning; remainder pelagic.

Great-winged Petrel: 8 (2) All pelagic.

Great-winged/Grey-faced Petrel: 7 (1) All pelagic – too distant to identify.

Grey-faced Petrel: 3 (1) Pelagic.

PROVIDENCE PETREL: 8 (1) All pelagic.  At least 8 birds but there may have
been as many as 11, some birds seemed to come and go.

Sooty Shearwater: 4 (1) 3 pelagic; 1 offshore in the afternoon.

Common Diving Petrel: 30 (4) 24 offshore in the morning; 2 pelagic; 4
offshore in the afternoon.

Black-faced Cormorant: 14 (9) 1 inshore in the morning; 13 on the

Australasian Gannet: 11 (3) 9 inshore in the morning; 2 offshore in the

White-faced Heron: 3 (3) Roosting on the Hippolytes.

White-bellied Sea Eagle: 1 On the Hippolytes in the morning.

Sooty Oystercatcher: 2 (2) On a rock shelf just outside Pirates Bay in the

Silver Gull: 49 (24) Inshore and on the Hippolytes in the morning.

Pacific Gull: 4 (2) 2 on rocks just outside Pirates Bay in the morning and
2 on Cheverton Rock in the morning.

Kelp Gull: 40 (8) 41 inshore and around the Hippolytes in the morning.

Greater Crested Tern: c. 160 (c. 30) 48 inshore and around the Hippolytes
in the morning; c. 70 offshore in the morning, including a flock feeding
with albatrosses over 130 fathoms; 40+ pelagic.

White-fronted Tern: 9 (3) 1 offshore in the morning; remainder pelagic.

Brown Skua: 1 Approached the boat closely and sat in the slick for a little
while not long after we pulled up past the shelf-break.

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