Eaglehawk Pelagic Trip Report – May 26th, 2018

Eaglehawk Pelagic Trip Report – May 26th, 2018

Participants:

Karen Dick, Ian Halliday, Rob Hamilton, Andy Jensen, Heidi Krajewski, Mona
Loofs-Samorzewski, Mark Sanders, Sue Taylor, Bill Twiss, Els Wakefield, Tom
Wheller and Paul Brooks (organiser and report compiler)

Boat:

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

Notes:

The forecast wind for today’s trip was 10 knots or below all day so we were
pleasantly surprised with the diversity and numbers of birds that we had
around the boat. The highlight was a Westland Petrel, a bird that many of
the participants had come specifically to see, along with good sightings of
Soft-plumaged and White-headed Petrels. Of interest was a Crescent
Honeyeater which perched on one of the Pauletta’s aerials as we headed out
to the shelf and a scuffle between a Peregrine Falcon and a White-bellied
Sea Eagle near the Hippolytes. A juvenile/first winter immature
Australasian Gannet was sighted near the Hippolytes as we came back in;
this bird may be the result of a successful breeding attempt on the
Hippolytes last breeding season and is the only bird of this age class I’ve
seen in Tasmanian waters.

Activity:

Left port at 0735 hrs and headed straight down to the Hippolytes, cruising
past the northern side before heading south-east to the shelf-break. We
pulled up over 260 fathoms at 0950 hrs to berley, drifting east to 340
fathoms at 1035 hrs. After running back up the slick for a km or so, we
headed further out to 655 fathoms. We set another slick here and drifted
out to 740 fathoms, before heading straight back to port at 1245 hrs,
docking at 1505 hrs.

Conditions:

Skies were partly cloudy as we left Pirates Bay in the morning in light
winds with no sea on a low swell. Offshore, the variable swell rose to 1.5
metres with the seas remaining low in the light breeze. Towards the shelf
break, the swell reached 3+ metres but the wind was generally below 10
knots and the seas remained below 1 metre. The cloud cleared up after
midday. Water temperature was 14.8 deg C inshore, rising to 15.9 deg C out
wide. None seasick.

Mammals:

Short-beaked Common Dolphin: c. 120 (c. 50) Observed around the boat while
travelling between berley points.

Australian/New Zealand Fur Seal: 15 (14) 14 on the Hippolytes in the
morning; 1 offshore.

Birds (IOC v 7.3 – max at one time in brackets):

Wilson’s Storm Petrel: 4 (3) Pelagic.

Grey-backed Storm Petrel: 5 (4) Pelagic.

Wandering Albatross: 1 A young-bird in pelagic waters.

Antipodean Albatross: 2 (1) An adult male and an immature male in pelagic
waters.

Southern Royal Albatross: 4 (1) 3 immatures and 1 adult, all in pelagic
waters.

Campbell Albatross: 2 (1) Pelagic.

Shy Albatross: c. 80 (33) 1 inshore in the morning; 7 offshore in the
morning; remainder pelagic. Mainly adults with 3 immature birds.

Buller’s Albatross: 8 (3) 1 inshore in the morning; 3 offshore in the
morning; 4 pelagic.

Northern Giant Petrel: 4 (3) 1 sub-adult and 3 immatures in pelagic water.

Cape Petrel: 8 (8) All pelagic. 2 nominate birds, the remainder *australe*.

Fairy Prion: c. 170 (c. 25) 16 offshore in the morning; remainder pelagic.

Great-winged Petrel: 17 (4) 9 pelagic; 8 offshore in the afternoon. Generally
flying north to south.

WHITE-HEADED PETREL: 2 (1) Offshore in the afternoon.

Grey-faced Petrel: 2 (1) Pelagic.

SOFT-PLUMAGED PETREL: 3 (1) 1 pelagic; 2 offshore in the afternoon.

White-chinned Petrel: 1 Pelagic.

WESTLAND PETREL: 1 Approached closely and lapped the boat several times not
long after we pulled up to lay our first slick.

Sooty Shearwater: 5 (1) Pelagic.

Short-tailed Shearwater: 14 (4) 1 offshore in the morning; remainder
inshore in the afternoon.

Common Diving Petrel: 18 (2) 2 inshore in the morning; 11 offshore in the
morning; 5 inshore in the afternoon.

Black-faced Cormorant: 9 (9) On the Hippolytes in the morning.

Australasian Gannet: 8 (3) 7 inshore in the morning; 1 juvenile just
outside the Hippolytes in the afternoon.

White-faced Heron: 1 On the Hippolytes in the morning.

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

Silver Gull: c. 20 (5) c. 20 inshore in the morning.

Pacific Gull: 2 (2) 2 adults on the Hippolytes in the morning.

Kelp Gull: c. 30 (c. 25) c. 30 inshore and on the Hippolytes in the morning.

Greater Crested Tern: c. 140 (2) c. 85 inshore in the morning, including c.
40 on Cheverton Rock; 18 offshore in the morning; 7 pelagic.

White-fronted Tern: 1 Pelagic.

Peregrine Falcon: 1 Over the Hippolytes in the morning. Mobbed the sea
eagle.

Crescent Honeyeater: 1 Alighted on one of the Pauletta’s aerials as we
passed over about the 55-fathom mark.

PB



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