Trip Report: Eaglehawk Neck pelagic 5 March 2017

Eaglehawk Pelagic Trip Report – 5th March 2017

Participants:

Jez Bird, Ruth Brozek, Alan Clarkson, Karen Dick, Rob Hamilton, Mona Loofs-Samorzewski (report compiler), Jim Sneddon, George Vaughan, Michael Vaughan, Peter Vaughan, Brenton Von Takach Dukai, Els Wakefield. Trip organised by Paul Brooks, who was unable to attend.

Boat:

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

Notes:

A fairly average trip in terms of diversity and number of species but with very pleasant and enjoyable conditions. No stand-out species, the highlight probably being a very young Wandering Albatross, found later from photos to be banded on the left leg. Plenty of evidence of breeding Australasian Gannets on the Hippolyte with a banded adult also discovered from photos. On our return the deckhand put out a line and hooked up a small tuna – those who wanted took a steak home.

Activity:

Left Pirates Bay at 0710 hrs and headed down to circumnavigate the Hippolyte before traveling south and then turning east once we reached the shelf-break. The first berley was set over 414 fathoms at 0930 hrs, only drifting 300-400 m due to the wind and tide working against each other. We headed further east and south to berley again at a similar depth at 1112 hrs. We finished with a third very brief berley at 1225 hrs at about 20 nm offshore before heading back to port, once more passing by the Hippolyte, to dock at 1455 hrs.

Conditions:

Left port under overcast skies with a sea mist. The southwesterly swell was under 0.5 m at 0800 with a light southwesterly breeze. Once we passed the Hippolyte the swell increased to approx 1 m with a fresher more southerly breeze, then reached 1.5 m before dropping off again to a 1 m swell at our first berley point. As the morning progressed the cloud dissipated resulting in some sunny patches. The southwesterly swell picked up to 2 m at 1045 with 2 m southerly seas on top, reducing again around midday. The wind dropped out at around 1225 and it remained light for the rest of the trip. Pelagic water temperature was 19.8 °C. Rather pleasant conditions really. None seasick.

Mammals:

Australian/New Zealand Fur Seal: 124 (20) On and around The Hippolyte with 1 in pelagic waters.

Common Dolphin: 2 (2) inshore in the afternoon.

Birds (IOC v 7.1 – max at one time in brackets):

Little Penguin: 6 (2) 2 inshore and 2 offshore in the morning, 2 inshore in the afternoon.

Wilson’s Storm Petrel: 7 (3) 3 offshore and 4 pelagic.

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

White-faced Storm Petrel: 13 (9) 3 offshore in the morning, the rest pelagic.

Wandering Albatross: 1 very fresh juvenile at the first berley, banded on the left leg.

Antipodean Albatross: 1 gibsoni in pelagic waters.

Black-browed Albatross: 1 inshore in the afternoon.

Campbell Albatross: 1 immature in pelagic waters.

Black-browed type Albatross: 1 inshore in the morning.

Shy Albatross: c50 (31) 9 inshore, 7 offshore, the remainder pelagic. All adult barring 2 immatures.

Buller’s Albatross: 10 (1) 3 inshore, 4 offshore, 1 pelagic and 2 inshore in the afternoon.

Fairy Prion: 2 (2) both pelagic.

Great-winged: 1 pelagic.

Grey-faced: 1 pelagic.

White-chinned Petrel: 20 (20) all pelagic.

Sooty Shearwater: 2 (1) 1 offshore, 1 pelagic.

Short-tailed Shearwater: c1000 (300) 230 inshore, 720 offshore, remainder pelagic.

Fluttering Shearwater: 17 (3) 6 inshore, 7 offshore, 4 inshore in the afternoon.

Hutton’s Shearwater: 2 (1) 1 near the Hippolyte and 1 offshore.

‘Flutton’s’ Shearwater: 5 (1) 1 inshore, 4 offshore.

Common Diving Petrel: 2 (1) 1 offshore and 1 bird in pelagic waters.

Australasian Gannet: c90 (70) inshore, on and around the Hippolyte. Interesting to see 7-8 chicks and 1 banded adult in the morning on the Hippolyte, and 1 immature in offshore waters in the afternoon.

Black-faced Cormorant: c450 (160) inshore.

Silver Gull: 130 (40) 110 inshore and up to 20 around the boat in pelagic waters.

Pacific Gull: 2 (2) inshore.

Kelp Gull: 45 (20) inshore.

Greater Crested Tern: 2 (1) 1 inshore and 1 pelagic.

Forest Raven: 1 near the Hippolyte.

MLS



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