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Thread: Eaglehawk Neck Pelagics, Saturday 21/9/13 & Sunday 22/9/13

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2011

    Eaglehawk Neck Pelagics, Saturday 21/9/13 & Sunday 22/9/13

    Hi All,

    Please find below the trip details for a weekend of pelagics that we ran out of Eaglehawk Neck on the 21st and 22nd Sept 2013. These trips were organised in response to the cracking trip led by Rohan Clarke the previous weekend (see links below). Obviously conditions had changed!!

    Cheers Dan

    Dan Mantle, Stu Pickering, David Mitford, Nikolas Haass, Raja Stephenson, Christian Haass, Plaxy Barratt, Kevin Bartram, Scott Baker, Rob Hynson, Paul & Ruth Dodd (Saturday only), Paul Brooks & John Weigel (Sunday only), John Males (skipper)

    Vessel: Pauletta

    Saturday: air temperature 9-13 ˚C, sea surface temperature 13.4˚C at the shelf break, swell 1 m, wind 5-10 knots WSW swinging around to S

    Sunday: air temperature 8-11˚C, sea surface temperature 13.5˚C at the shelf break, swell 1 m, wind 5 knots rising to 15-20 knots SSW

    Both days we left the harbour at roughly 7:00 am and headed south east to berley at about 3-4 km beyond the shelf break. We returned to the jetty by 3pm both days.

    Saturday started with great anticipation following the hugely successful pelagic trips led by Rohan Clarke the previous weekend (see http://bioacoustics.cse.unsw.edu.au/.../msg00223.html) that encountered nearly unprecedented diversity and numbers of cold water species for Australian single day pelagic trips. However, today it was extremely quiet on the way across the shelf with only Shy Albatross, Common Diving-Petrel and moderate numbers of the recently returned Short-tailed Shearwaters to keep us entertained. As we continued to the shelf things did not seem to be improving so we continued on to the deeper waters several kilometres beyond the shelf break. At our first berley point, in about 650 fathoms of water, our suspicions were confirmed that this was not going to be a repeat of the previous week and that we were going to have to work hard for our birds. We soon attracted the first Great-winged Petrels and singles of both Southern Royal Albatross and Wandering Albatross (a likely gibsoni-type). But these were to prove the highlights of an extremely quiet day, along with a single White-chinned Petrel and several Northern Giant Petrels. Thus three species of albatrosses and just a handful of petrel species was an unexpectedly low return. We hoped that moderate SW to S winds overnight may bring better returns the following day.

    Sunday started off with calm seas and light winds before the first of several moderate southerly fronts moved through bringing prolonged periods of light rain. The birding today was definitely an improvement on the previous day although the trip across the shelf was still only enlivened by regular sightings of Common Diving-Petrel and Shy Albatross and our first Yellow-nosed Albatross of the weekend. Again we berleyed-up in relatively deep waters (600 fathoms) several kilometres beyond the shelf edge. Highlights attracted to the chum included two Wandering Albatross (a stunning exulans-type with the largest pink neck sides that any of us had seen and a likely antipodensis-type). Other birds seen at this point included singles of Black-browed and Campbell Albatross and a distant White-headed Petrel. The ride back in was broken up by a brief views of an adult Salvin’s Albatross and the weekend was rounded-off with the photographers lining up to snap a male Flame Robin feeding on the beach and a Beautiful Firetail on the grass verges of the carpark.

    Species lists (scientific name, common name, total number (seen at one time) day1, day2)

    Diomedea exulans, Wandering Albatross, 1 (1), 1 (1)
    Diomedea antipodensis, New Zealand Albatross, 1 (1), 1 (1) [the Sat & Sun birds were likely D. a. gibsoni and D. a. antipodensis respectively]
    Diomedea epomophora, Southern Royal Albatross, 1 (1), 3 (1)
    Thalassarche melanophris, Black-browed Albatross, 0 (0), 1 (1)
    Thalassarche impavida, Campbell Albatross, 0 (0), 1 (1)
    Thalassarche cauta, Shy Albatross, 74 (30), 85 (32) [most or all were T. c. cauta]
    Thalassarche salvini, Salvin's Albatross, 0 (0), 1 (1)
    Thalassarche carteri, Indian Yellow-nosed Albatross, 0 (0), 1 (1)
    Macronectes giganteus, Southern Giant-Petrel, 0 (0), 1 (1)
    Macronectes halli, Northern Giant-Petrel, 3 (2), 6 (4)
    Daption capense, Cape Petrel, 2 (2), 4 (7) [mostly D. c. australe, one poss D. c. capense on Sun]
    Pachyptila turtur, Fairy Prion, 0 (0), 30 (5)
    Pterodroma m. macroptera, Great-winged Petrel, 8 (4), 4 (2); [likely this taxon]
    Pterodroma m. gouldi, Grey-faced Petrel, 1 (1), 6 (4)
    Pterodrom macroptera (indet), 0 (0), 2 (1)
    Pterodroma lessonii, White-headed Petrel, 0 (0), 1 (1)
    Procellaria aequinoctialis, White-chinned Petrel 1 (1), 0 (0)
    Puffinus griseus, Sooty Shearwater, 1 (1), 6 (1)
    Puffinus tenuirostris, Short-tailed Shearwater, 1000 (500), 520 (50)
    Puffinus gavia, Fluttering Shearwater 1 (1), 0 (0)
    Garrodia nereis, Grey-backed Storm-Petrel, 1 (1), 0 (0)
    Pelagodroma marina, White-faced Storm-Petrel 0 (0), 1 (1)
    Pelecanoides urinatrix, Common Diving-Petrel, 42 (4), 43 (5)
    Morus serrator, Australasian Gannet, 29 (4), 16 (3)
    Phalacrocorax fuscescens, Black-faced Cormorant, 91 (60), 30 (10)
    Phalacrocorax carbo, Great Cormorant, 0 (1), 0 (0)
    Chroicocephalus novaehollandiae, Silver Gull, 164 (50), 60 (30)
    Larus pacificus, Pacific Gull, 3 (2), 4 (4)
    Larus dominicanus, Kelp Gull, 220 (100), 45 (20)
    Thalasseus bergii, Crested Tern, 31 (20), 21 (4)
    Sterna striata, White-fronted Tern, 0 (0), 2 (2)
    Stercorarius antarcticus, Brown Skua, 1 (1), 0 (0)

    Arctocephalus forsteri, New Zealand Fur-seal, 4 (2), 1 (1) [most likely all this species]
    Last edited by Dan Mantle; 27-09-2013 at 01:21 PM.

  2. #2
    Raja's photos from the Saturday 21/9/2013 pelagic (photos from Sunday will be uploaded soon):



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