Eaglehawk Pelagic Trip Report, Jan 6th 2019

To: birding-aus <>
Subject: Eaglehawk Pelagic Trip Report, Jan 6th 2019
From: Paul Brooks <>
Date: Wed, 20 Feb 2019 21:54:49 +1100

Eaglehawk Pelagic Trip Report - January 6th, 2019



Ruth Brozek, Helen Cunningham, Sara Grealy, Rob Hamilton, Mona Loofs-Samorzewski, Andi Magnussen, Paul Newman, Peter Vaughan, Els Wakefield and Paul Brooks (organiser and report compiler)



The Pauletta, skippered by John Males, with deckhand Michael Males.



A reasonable trip for diversity and numbers with a couple of good sightings.  A Wedge-tailed Shearwater was a very good record for Eaglehawk and a Soft-plumaged Petrel over 70 fathoms in the afternoon was interesting, but only seen by a one observer.  It was our only Pterodroma petrel for the day.  We had good numbers of storm petrel in the slick and were challenged with good numbers of jaegers; all that were seen/photographed well enough turned out to be Parasitic.



Left port at 0710 hrs and headed down to the Hippolytes, checking the gannetries there before heading south-east past the shelf-break, pulling up over 270 fathoms at 0915 hrs, drifting NW to 350 fathoms by 1255 hrs.  Headed straight back to port, docking at 1505 hrs.



It was partly cloudy and cool when we set out, with a light breeze and a 1.5 m swell.  After we passed the Hippolytes, the south-westerly breeze picked up to 10-15 kn and the swell rose to 2 m with seas of 1 m.  Conditions were similar out wide until ~ 1100 hrs, when the wind dropped back to ~5 kn, the sea flattened, and skies cleared for the remainder of the day.  Water temperature was 17.4 deg C inshore, rising to 18.9 deg C out wide.  None seasick.



Brown/Long-nosed Fur Seal: 53 (34) On and around Cheverton Rock and the Hippolytes in the morning.


Short-beaked Common Dolphin: c. 35 (5) A few inshore in the morning, remainder offshore in the morning.



Shortfin Mako Shark: 3 (2) Pelagic.


Blue Shark: 1 Pelagic.


Tuna sp.: 2 A couple of fish leapt from the water near the boat in pelagic water – probably Southern Bluefin Tuna.



Yellow Striped Hunter (Austrogomphus guerini): Flew over the back of the boat for a minute or two in offshore water as we motored back to port (55 f).


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

Little Penguin: 3 (3) Offshore in the morning.


Wilson’s Storm Petrel: 3 (3) Pelagic.


White-faced Storm Petrel: 6 (6) Pelagic.


Grey-backed Storm Petrel: 16 (16) Pelagic.


Antipodean Albatross: 1 Adult male Gibson’s Albatross in pelagic water.


Southern Royal Albatross: 3 (1) Immatures in pelagic water.


Campbell Albatross: 1 An adult in pelagic water.


Shy Albatross:  c. 40 (16) 10 inshore in the morning; 10 offshore in the morning; remainder pelagic.


Indian Yellow-nosed Albatross: 1 An immature in pelagic water.


Buller’s Albatross: 2 (1) Pelagic.


Northern Giant Petrel: 2 (1) An immature on the water next to the Hippolyte in the morning and an immature in pelagic water.


Fairy Prion: 6 (5) 1 offshore in the morning, remainder pelagic.


SOFT-PLUMAGED PETREL: 1 Seen offshore in the afternoon by one observer (~70 f).


White-chinned Petrel: 9 (9) Pelagic.


WEDGE-TAILED SHEARWATER: 1 A bird was seen by one observer just prior to reaching the shelf-break; either this, or a second bird, made one close pass after we stopped to berley.  Still a very rare bird in Tasmania, but there have now been records off Eaglehawk every Jan/Feb since 2016.


Sooty Shearwater: 5 (2) Pelagic.


Short-tailed Shearwater: c. 9,900 (c. 1,000) c. 2,400 offshore in the morning; remainder pelagic.  Several thousand birds streamed by in the distance for much of the afternoon – estimated at 200 birds per five minutes; also big flocks passing the boat as we headed back to shore.


Fluttering Shearwater: 2 (1) Pelagic.


Hutton’s Shearwater: 3 (1) Pelagic.


‘Flutton’s’ Shearwater: 8 (2) 3 offshore in the morning; 5 pelagic.


Common Diving Petrel: 4 (1) 2 offshore in the morning; 2 pelagic.


Black-faced Cormorant: c. 700 (c. 500) Inshore and on the Hippolytes in the morning.


Australasian Gannet: c. 100 (c. 30) c. 100 inshore in the morning, mainly at breeding colonies on the Hippolytes; 1 offshore in the morning; 1 pelagic.


Silver Gull: c. 45 (c. 20) c. 40 inshore and around the Hippolytes in the morning; 3 offshore in the morning; 2 pelagic.


Pacific Gull: 1 on Cheverton Rock in the morning.


Kelp Gull: c. 130 (c. 80) c. 130 inshore and on the Hippolytes in the morning; 2 offshore in the morning.


Greater Crested Tern: 77 (7) 36 inshore and around the Hippolytes in the morning; 32 offshore in the morning; 9 pelagic.


Parasitic Jaeger: 6 (2) 1 offshore in the morning; remainder pelagic.


Jaeger sp.: 3 (1) 1 offshore in the morning; 2 pelagic.


Tree Martin: 2 (2) Flying around cliffs outside Pirates Bay in the morning.



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