20 August 2017 Report - Eaglehawk Neck
This trip was organised by the Sydney Pelagics birding group for the weekend of August 19 and 20, 2017.
OBSERVERS: Hal Epstein, Karen Dick, Steve Hey, Greg McLachlan, Dean Purcell, Dirk Tomsa, Els Wakefield, Richard Webber, Tom Wilson, Andrew Wood, and Roger McGovern (report compiler).
WEATHER: Clear sunny skies all day with 10 to 15 knot westerly winds providing far more comfortable conditions than yesterday. The air temperature ranged from 3degC in the morning up to 12degC in the mid-afternoon.
SEA: A half to one metre sea inshore to the Hippolytes and increasing to 1 to 1.5 metres at the shelf with only a mild chop. Conditions moderated slowly through the day and the journey back to Pirates Bay was very pleasant.
ACTIVITY: Departed Pirates Bay Wharf at 7.05am and headed out to the Hippolytes before continuing in an easterly direction to the continental shelf break. Started berleying at 9.05am in 350 fathoms and stayed at this location (drifting north east) until heading back at around 1.30pm, arriving back at the dock just after 3.00pm.
MAMMALS: Australian Fur Seals: Larger numbers of Australian Fur Seals (about 20) than yesterday on and around the Hippolytes.
New Zealand Fur Seal: One seal of this species picked out amongst the Australian Fur Seals on the Hippolytes.
BIRDS: We recorded a total of 29 species beyond the entrance to Pirates Bay with the highlights being a Light-mantled Albatross and two Grey Petrel making this yet another memorable pelagic trip. Five species recorded yesterday were not seen today, these being Sooty Albatross, Southern Giant Petrel, Antarctic Prion, White-headed Petrel and Providence Petrel. Five species not seen yesterday were seen today, these being Little Penguin, Northern Royal Albatross, Salvin’s Albatross, Sooty Shearwater and Short-tailed Shearwater.
(Note that the numbers in parentheses represent the approximate maximum number of that species in view at one time)
|Little Penguin||1||(1) Inshore|
|Grey-backed Storm Petrel||3||(1) All pelagic|
|Wandering Albatross||1||(1) Adult bird, pelagic|
|Antipodean Albatross||1||(1) Pelagic ssp gibsoni|
|Southern Royal Albatross||2||(1) Both pelagic|
|Northern Royal Albatross||1||(1) Pelagic|
|LIGHT-MANTLED ALBATROSS||1||(1) Pelagic|
|Shy Albatross||26||(15) About four inshore, five offshore and the rest pelagic|
|Campbell Albatross||1||(1) Pelagic|
|Black-browed Albatross||1||(1) Pelagic|
|Indian Yellow-nosed Albatross||29||(25) Raft of twenty-five birds inshore on return journey - rest pelagic|
|Buller's Albatross||2||(1) Both pelagic|
|Salvin’s Albatross||1||(1) Pelagic - picked up and photographed by Els|
|Cape Petrel||2||(1) Both pelagic - spp australe|
|Northern Giant Petrel||4||(2) All pelagic|
|Great-winged Petrel||4||(1) All pelagic|
|Grey-faced Petrel||2||(1) Both pelagic|
|GREY PETREL||2||(1) Both pelagic|
|Soft-plumaged Petrel||4||(1) All pelagic|
|Common Diving Petrel||33||(5) Twenty-eight offshore not far from the Hippolytes and five inshore|
|Fairy Prion||6||(1) All pelagic|
|Slender-billed Prion||1||(1) Pelagic - identified from photograph|
|Prion species||20||All pelagic|
|Sooty Shearwater||1||(1) Made several passes off the boat in offshore waters near the Hippolytes|
|Short-tailed Shearwater||5||(1) Four pelagic and one offshore|
|Australasian Gannet||12||(3) About eight inshore and the rest offshore|
|Silver Gull||24||(15) All inshore|
|Pacific Gull||8||(2) Two on the Hippolytes and the rest inshore|
|Kelp Gull||65||(25) One pelagic and the rest inshore and on the rocks of Pirates Bay|
|Greater Crested Tern||60||(55) Three pelagic and the rest inshore – flock of fifty-five on rocks near wharf|
|Australian Fur Seal||20|
|New Zealand Fur Seal||1|