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Thread: Eaglehawk Neck Pelagics Saturday, 30/08, and Sunday, 31/08/2014

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    Eaglehawk Neck Pelagics Saturday, 30/08, and Sunday, 31/08/2014

    Eaglehawk Neck Pelagics – Saturday, 30/08, and Sunday, 31/08/2014

    Participants: Nikolas Haass (leader), Raja Stephenson, Plaxy Barratt, Kevin Bartram, Rob Hynson, David Mitford, Bernard O’Keefe, Glen Pacey, Stuart Pickering, Andrew Sutherland, Els Wakefield, John Weigel, Kay Parkin (Saturday only), Colin Reid (Saturday only), Paul Brooks (Sunday only), Karen Dick (Sunday only); John Males (skipper) and Adam McIntosh (deck hand)

    Saturday: Air temperature roughly 15˚C, sea surface temperature 12.5˚C at the current line at 600 fathoms, swell 1-2 m, current running SE, wind up to 25 knots NE

    Sunday: Air temperature roughly 17˚C, sea surface temperature 12.5˚C at 700 fathoms, swell 1 m, current running SE, wind up to 15 knots NE

    Summary
    Both days, we left the harbour at 7:20 am, headed straight towards the shelf break and returned at 3:30 pm.

    Saturday was partially overcast with increasingly rough seas. The stretch between the harbour and the Hippolytes was quiet with only 4 Shy Albatross, 1 Common Diving-Petrel, 7 Australasian Gannets, a Crested Tern and 6 Kelp Gulls. The next stretch from the Hippolytes to the shelf break was a bit more productive with the first Wandering Albatross of the day, an immature Southern Royal Albatross, a flock of 20 Fairy Prions, and 4 more Common Diving-Petrels. The first berley point was at the 250-fathom line, where we had increasing numbers of birds including a Grey-backed Storm-Petrel, a Buller’s Albatross and more Fairy Prions. Interestingly, there were some morphologically quite different Fairy Prions, indicating that they may have originated from different populations. The second berley point at 600 fathoms hosted a juvenile Southern Royal Albatross, a subadult Salvin’s Albatross, a single Hutton’s Shearwater, 2 White-chinned Petrels, several White-headed and Soft-plumaged Petrels that put on a great show and the highlight of the day: a Blue Petrel. Two observers reported 2 Blue Petrels but since all photos showed always the same individual, we decided to be conservative and count only one. The opposite happened to two other species, which managed to escape everyone’s eyes but were ‘nailed’ on Andrew’s and Kevin’s photos respectively only to be noticed at dinner (after a rough ride back to the harbour): an Antarctic Prion (Andrew) and a Grey Petrel (Kevin)!

    Despite the forecast, on Sunday the seas were much calmer. We started off with a distant flock of unidentified Hutton’s/Fluttering-type Shearwaters. We had even fewer Common Diving-Petrels compared to the previous day. Soon we saw an immature Southern Royal Albatross, the first immature Indian Yellow-nosed Albatross of the trip (later we saw a second one) and the numbers of Shy Albatross following the boat were significantly higher than on the Saturday. At 700 fathoms we saw our second Salvin’s Albatross (adult), another juvenile Southern Royal Albatross, 2 Buller’s Albatross and had good numbers of Wandering (17), Gibson’s (4) and Antipodean Albatross (4). Again we had a nice show of Soft-plumaged, White-headed, Great-winged (most P. m. gouldi) and Providence Petrels but lacked all non-Pterodroma petrels from the previous day. An Australian Fur-seal visited the boat to scare some of the albatross. On the way back a Short-tailed Shearwater made a quick pass. Back in the harbour we were greeted by a young White-bellied Sea-Eagle.

    Photographs (Raja Stephenson):
    Saturday: http://www.adarman.com/Pelagics/Tasm...aglehawk-Neck/
    Sunday: http://www.adarman.com/Pelagics/Tasm...aglehawk-Neck/

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

    Birds
    Diomedea exulans, Wandering Albatross, 19 (13), 17 (17)
    Diomedea a. antipodensis, Antipodean Albatross, 0 (0), 4 (4)
    Diomedea a. gibsoni, Gibson’s Albatross, 4 (4), 4 (4)
    Diomedea epomophora, Southern Royal Albatross, 2 (1) [1 imm + 1 juv], 2 (1) [1 imm + 1 juv]
    Thalassarche melanophris, Black-browed Albatross, 4 (3), 1 (1)
    Thalassarche impavida, Campbell Albatross, 6 (4), 5 (4)
    Thalassarche c. cauta, Shy Albatross, 50+ (20), 200+ (50)
    Thalassarche salvini, Salvin's Albatross, 1 (1) [subadult], 1 (1) [adult]
    Thalassarche carteri, Indian Yellow-nosed Albatross, 0 (0), 2 (1) [both imm.]
    Thalassarche bulleri, Buller's Albatross, 1 (1), 2 (1)
    Macronectes giganteus, Southern Giant-Petrel, 1 (1) [juv.], 0 (0)
    Macronectes halli, Northern Giant-Petrel, 6 (5), 4 (3)
    Daption capense, Cape Petrel, 8 (6), 0 (0) [all D. c. australe]
    Halobaena caerulea, Blue Petrel, 1 (1) [possibly 2], 0 (0)
    Pachyptila desolata, Antarctic Prion 1 (1), 0 (0); [Not seen - only noticed on photograph!]
    Pachyptila turtur, Fairy Prion, 100+ (30) [one possible Macquarie Island bird], 200+ (60)
    Procellaria aequinoctialis, White-chinned Petrel, 2 (2), 0 (0)
    Procellaria cinerea, Grey Petrel, 1 (1), 0 (0); [Not seen - only noticed on photograph!]
    Pterodroma macroptera, Great-winged Petrel, 40 (7), 20 (4); [most P. m. gouldi]
    Pterodroma lessonii, White-headed Petrel, 8 (3), 4 (1)
    Pterodroma solandri, Providence Petrel, 4 (1), 2 (1)
    Pterodroma mollis, Soft-plumaged Petrel, 3 (1), 1 (1)
    Puffinus griseus, Sooty Shearwater, 1 (1), 0 (0)
    Puffinus tenuirostris, Short-tailed Shearwater, 0 (0), 1 (1)
    Puffinus huttoni, Hutton’s Shearwater, 1 (1), 1 (1)
    Garrodia nereis, Grey-backed Storm-Petrel, 2 (1) [1 at 250, 1 at 600 fathoms], 0 (0)
    Pelagodroma marina, White-faced Storm-Petrel, 2 (1) [at 600 fathoms], 1 (1) [at 700 fathoms]
    Pelecanoides urinatrix, Common Diving-Petrel, 5 (1), 2 (1)
    Morus serrator, Australasian Gannet, 10 (7), 3 (1)
    Phalacrocorax fuscescens, Black-faced Cormorant, 10 (10), 10 (10)
    Haliaeetus leucogaster, White-bellied Sea-Eagle, 0 (0), 1 (1)
    Chroicocephalus novaehollandiae, Silver Gull, 10 (10), 10 (10)
    Larus pacificus, Pacific Gull, 1 (1), 2 (2)
    Larus dominicanus, Kelp Gull, 40 (40), 40 (40)
    Thalasseus bergii, Crested Tern, 6 (3), 6 (2)
    Sterna striata, White-fronted Tern, 1 (1), 2 (1)

    Mammals
    Arctocephalus pusillus doriferus, Australian Fur-seal, 1 (1), 1 (1)
    Last edited by nhaass; 17-10-2014 at 10:39 PM.

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