Sunshine Coast Birds

Birding and other wildlife experiences from the Sunshine Coast and elsewhere in Australia - and from overseas - with scribblings about travel, environmental issues, kayaking, hiking and camping.

Sunday, 8 May 2016

Sunshine Coast Pelagic Trip May 2016

Flesh-footed Shearwater
We departed the Mooloolaba Marina on Queensland's Sunshine coast at 6.45am in the morning of Saturday May 7, 2016. The forecast was good and hopes were high as we embarked on a bumpy 2.5-hour ride to the shelf, arriving at 9.15am in 380 metres, 32 nautical miles offshore (26.36.064S; 153.43.652E).

Tahiti Petrel
A Tahiti Present turned up before we had begun leaving a trail of shark liver berley. Tahiti Petrels were unusually common for this late in the season and small numbers were about the boat for the whole time we were out on the shelf.

Wilson's Storm-Petrel
A fresh south-easterly of 12-15 knots eased only slightly as the day progressed with a swell of 1.5 metres under a sunny autumn sky. As we began to drift slowly in a northerly direction, the first of many Wilson's Storm-Petrels appeared. This was easily the commonest species of the day and plenty of storm-petrels accompanied us while out on the shelf.

White-faced Storm-Petrel
A White-faced Storm-Petrel made a welcome appearance but try as we might, no Coral Sea-type stormies were detected in the gatherings behind the boat. A Short-tailed Shearwater was interested in the berley and a few more showed later in the morning along with a couple of Wedge-tailed Shearwaters and a Flesh-footed Shearwater.

Lesser Frigatebird
Single male and female Lesser Frigatebirds made several appearances during the day, possibly the same pair but more likely a few birds were on patrol. Crested Terns were plentiful, with several roosting on the boat.We turned around at 1pm, having drifted just one nautical mile, arriving back at the marina at 3.15pm.

Crested Tern
PARTICIPANTS: Lachlan Tuckwell (skipper), Greg Roberts (organiser), Tony Baker, Margaret Baker, Sarah Beavis, Devon Bull, Phil Cross, Robyn Duff, Jan England, John Gunning, Bob James, Rob Kernot, Elliot Leach, Raja Stephenson, Jamie Walker.

SPECIES (Maximum at any one time)

Wilson's Storm-Petrel 100 (25)
White-faced Storm-Petrel 1 (1)
Tahiti Petrel 40 (6)
Wedge-tailed Shearwater 3 (1)
Short-tailed Shearwater 5 (3)
Flesh-footed Shearwater 1 (1)
Lesser Frigatebird 4 (1)
Crested Tern 40 (10)


  1. Hi Greg,
    How does one find out about these trips, as I have always wanted to get out and see some pelagic seabirds in their natural habitat-not washed up onshore!
    Ollie Scully.

  2. Ollie, email me and I will put you on the mailing list for the trips. Greg

  3. PS Ollie I would like to hook into your blog but you need to set the right gadgets up

  4. Thanks Greg, sounds good, I have changed the address of my blog to which should work alright, although I cannot take many photos due to studies.
    Ollie Scully.