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, 6 November 2016

Sunshine Coast Pelagic November 2016

Tahiti Petrel
We departed Mooloolaba Marina for the November 5, 2016 pelagic just after 7am with a 8-10 brisk north-westerly greeting us as we left the Mooloolah River. A bumpy ride ensued over a 1.5m swell with little seen on the way other than a smattering of Short-tailed Shearwaters and Wedge-tailed Shearwaters.

Wilson's Storm-Petrel
We arrived at the shelf at 9.25am, 32 nautical miles offshore in 354 metres (S26, 36, 105; 153, E43, 432) with the wind having picked up to 10-12 knots. It remained that way until late morning when it began increasing, reaching 20 knots by the end of the trip. NW is about the worst possible direction for winds for seabirds on these pelagics so expectations were somewhat muted, especially since gentle N-NW winds offshore had been the norm in the region over the preceding week.

Wedge-tailed Shearwater
We began leaving a trail of berley but it was 30 minutes before a Tahiti Petrel arrived on the scene. Another followed soon after as a small flock of Short-tailed Shearwaters passed by. The first Wilson's Storm-Petrel appeared an hour later and then a few Wedge-tailed Shearwaters and Crested Terns.

A few storm-petrels and Tahiti Petrels were about for most of the time we were out on the shelf. We drifted 6 nautical miles in a southerly direction before laying a second berley trail at 12pm. Nothing else of interest emerged, but the occasional lacklustre day is par for the course for seabird enthusiasts. We turned around at 12.45pm and arrived back at the marina at 3pm.

Wilson's Storm-Petrel
PARTICIPANTS: Greg Roberts (organiser), Lachlan Tuckwell (skipper), Devon Bull, Todd Burrows, Chris Burwell, Phil Cross, Jo Culican, David Fonda, Janette Fonda, John Gunning, Elliot Leach, Raja Stephenson, Richard Webber, Jodi Webber.

SPECIES: (Maximum at any one time)

Tahiti Petrel 5 (2)
Wedge-tailed Shearwater 30 (5)
Short-tailed Shearwater 20 (10)
Wilson's Storm-Petrel 8 (3)
Crested Tern 4 (2) 

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