Eaglehawk Neck pelagic trip report 7th July 2019

And here’s one I prepared earlier…

Eaglehawk Neck Pelagic Trip Report – 7th July 2019


Ruth Brozek, Jo Colahan, Rob Hamilton, Michael Hyland, Scott Linnane, Mona Loofs-Samorzewski, Paul Newman, Marcus Salton, Carolyn Upston, Els Wakefield. (Paul Brooks, the trip organiser, was unable to attend, with Mona managing the trip on the day and compiling the report.)


The Pauletta, skippered by John Males, with deckhand Adam Mackintosh.


An extremely pleasant day out on the water, with the weather and sea conditions benign and a slow but steady trickle of new birds to keep our attention. We had an interesting selection of large albatross visit us, at one time there were 3 Gibson’s and 2 Wandering Albatross all in view on the water behind the boat. Two of the birds were banded, one of them was Orange-214 R-46923, which we reported to the ABBBS. They were able to tell us it was a male Gibson’s Albatross banded on 20/12/96 as a chick at Adams Island (part of the Auckland Islands Group), and seen twice by the banding team since then as a non-breeding bird – on 23/2/04 and 21/2/07. The most notable sightings for the first part of the trip were the high count of Common Diving-petrel, and brief views of White-headed and Providence Petrel. These were all trumped at the end of the trip by two Blue Petrel seen very distantly once we left our second berley stop and were heading home. We had to stop several times to try to ID the far-off birds, finally achieving a positive ID by checking photos. A total of 29 species was the result of an excellent day on the water.


We left port at 0745 and took our usual route south to Cheverton Rock and the Hippoloytes, then struck east to set our first berley trail at 0945 over 330 fathoms. We drifted south all of 25 m so decided to head further east at 1107, stopping at 1130 over 642 fathoms for our second berley. This time we drifted 200 m south-southwest to a depth of 660 fathoms by 1230, after which we headed back to port via the Hippolytes, docking at 1505 hours.


Conditions were calm when we left port, no seas to speak of , very light wind and thin high cloud. Once past the Hippolytes, we had 0.5 m seas on a low northerly swell, with a light northeasterly wind to 5 knots. Conditions were similar at both of the berley stops, with the wind picking up a bit to 10 kn around 0925 and the sun breaking through the high cloud. On our return the skies clouded over and the temperature dropped, but by the time we docked at port the skies had cleared again. Water temperature was 13˚C. None seasick.



Australian/NZ Fur Seal: 21 on and around the Hippolytes.


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

Wilson’s Storm Petrel: 1 pelagic.

Grey-backed Storm Petrel: 2 (1) pelagic.

Wandering Albatross: 2 (2) pelagic. One young brown bird, the other adult.

Antipodean Albatross: 6 (4) ssp gibsoni pelagic.

Southern Royal Albatross: 1 older bird pelagic.

Black-browed Albatross: 1 pelagic.

Campbell Albatross: 1 adult pelagic.

Black-browed/Campbell Albatross: 1 offshore.

Shy Albatross: 35 (17): 1 inshore, 11 offshore, 21 pelagic and 2 inshore in the afternoon.

Buller’s Albatross: 6 (2): 4 offshore, 2 pelagic.

Southern Giant Petrel: 1 inshore.

Northern Giant Petrel: 4 (4) pelagic.

Cape Petrel: 7 (7): 6 capense 1 australe, all pelagic.

BLUE PETREL: 2 (2): 2 pelagic/offshore, seen just as we had started to return.

Great-winged Petrel: 3 (1) all pelagic.

Grey-faced Petrel: 16 (4): pelagic.

Great-winged/Grey-faced: 6 offshore, too fast and/or distant to identify.

WHITE-HEADED PETREL: 2 (1): pelagic.

Providence Petrel: 3 (1) all pelagic.

Sooty Shearwater: 1 offshore.

Common Diving-petrel: 56 (4): 49 offshore in the morning, 5 pelagic, 1 offshore and 1 inshore in the afternoon.

White-faced Heron: 1 on the Hippolytes.

Australasian Gannet: 22 (15): 4 inshore in the morning, 18 inshore in the afternoon.

Black-faced Cormorant: 34 (19): 9 inshore in the morning and 25 inshore in the afternoon.

Silver Gull: 15 (6) inshore in the morning and afternoon.

Pacific Gull: 4 (2): 2 on the Hippolytes in the morning, then likely the same 2 on the Hippolytes and another pair on Cheverton Rock in the afternoon.

Kelp Gull: 40 (17): 22 inshore in the morning and 18 inshore in the afternoon (several juv).

Greater Crested Tern: ~140 (~100): 40 inshore in the morning and 100 inshore in the afternoon.

Brown Skua: 1 pelagic.

Peregrine Falcon: 1 over Hippolytes in the morning.

Forest Raven: 2 (2): 2 on Hippoloytes in the afternoon.


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