Southport Pelagic Trip (Paul Walbridge)

Same rules as for past seasons i.e. sightings anywhere within a 250 km radius of Toowoomba, but excluding the local survey area (see above), for the period 1 Mar - 31 May 2008.

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Mick Atzeni
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Southport Pelagic Trip (Paul Walbridge)

Post by Mick Atzeni » Sun Aug 03, 2008 10:41 pm

Some retrospective additions...
To: <>
Subject: Southport Pelagic 26th April 2008
From: "Paul Walbridge" <>
Date: Tue, 06 May 2008 11:02:08 +1000

Hi all, here is the report for the Southport pelagic saturday 26th April

Vessel: 37ft monohul lM.V. Grinner.
Skipper: Craig Newton.
Deckhand: *Gailforce*.
Pax: Paul Walbridge (leader & organizer) Greg Anderson, Andrew Walter,
Brian Russell, Rod Gardner, Steve Murray, Willem Renema, Dave Stewart,
Rebecca Ryan, Peter Ryan, John Coleman, Anna Kearns, Scott Baker,
Richard Fuller, Claire Flockhart.

Weather conditions: A trough over the Coral Sea & a deepening low
moving southeast away from NSW brought light SW to NE winds to Southeast
Queensland. On leaving the Seaway, light SW to 10 knots rising to 10-15
knots N-NE by early afternoon. Generally cloudless skies, with excellent
visibility. Max. air temp. 25* C. Barometer 1012 hPa.

Sea conditions: Generally calm seas throughout the day with just a
light swell early, increasing to about 1.7 metres out wide. Current out
wide running at just over a knot. Sea surface temps.21.2* C at the
Seaway, increasing to 24.7* C at the Shelf-break and to 25.2* C at the
widest drift point.

Departed Southport Seaway at 0650 hrs and headed ENE to a spot known
locally as the *Rivieras*, a system of ravines & ridges. Reached the
Shelfbreak at 0920 hrs and the main drift point at approx. 1020 hrs,
approx. 58 kilometres ENE of the Seaway, where we proceeded to drift and
drop berley until 1245 hrs before heading home. Reached the Seaway at
1545 hrs, total duration of trip, 8hrs 55 mins.

On leaving the Seaway, not much of note around with a few gulls and
terns milling around some trawlers with a lone Wedge-tailed Shearwater,
of note though were 3 young Australasian Gannets, the first of the year.
As usual the Shelf was very quiet especially at this time of year when
nearly all the Wedge-tailed Shearwaters have cleared out, so a couple of
Providence Petrels heading landward at the 50 fathom mark was quite a

On crossing into *slope* waters more Providence Petrels started to
appear along with a solitary Arctic Jaeger and the first Tahiti Petrel &
Wilson*s Storm Petrels. Started a drift and berley slick and over the
next couple of hours drifted very slowly to the southeast with just a
few Great-winged Petrels and more Providence, Tahiti & Wilson*s Storm
Petrels putting in an appearance. It*s amazing how big a piece of
animal fat a Wilson*s Stormy can lift off the surface.

Started for home at 1245 hrs and had a few more Providence &
Great-winged Petrels on the Shelf, including one of each just a few
kilometers from shore that followed the vessel for some distance. A lone
Flesh-footed Shearwater also appeared, quite late for that species. This
trip was a week later than planned and almost into May, a month of
transition in these waters & not noted for diversity.

Next trip planned is for June 21st with a few spots still available.
Contact Paul Walbridge on Ph: (H) 07 3391 8839
(W) 07 3139 4584

Cheers * Paul W.


Wilson's Storm Petrel * 33 (9)
Wedge-tailed Shearwater * 2 (1)
Flesh-footed Shearwater * 1
TahitiPetrel * 7 (2)
Great-winged Petrel * 5 (1)
Providence Petrel * 25 (6)
Australasian Gannet * 3
Pied Cormorant * 1
Arctic Jaeger * 1
Common Tern * 1
Crested Tern - 33 (30)
Silver Gull - 60 (60)


Inshore Bottle-nosed Dolphin
Offshore Bottle-nosed Dolphin

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Mick Atzeni
Posts: 1843
Joined: Sun Dec 11, 2005 9:08 pm

March report

Post by Mick Atzeni » Sun Aug 24, 2008 10:45 am

Here's Paul's pelagic report for 15 March 2008. Kermadec, White-necked and Gould's Petrel are unexpected bonuses, as they weren't on the original target list of 413 species. I think it's time we revised the list.

Could anyone with an up-to-date species list of other pelagics and vagrants seen along the stretch from Tin Can Bay to Ballina please get in touch.
To: <>
Subject: Southport Pelagic 15th March 2008.
From: "Paul Walbridge" <>
Date: Mon, 17 Mar 2008 07:31:14 +1000

Hi all, here is the report for saturdays pelagic out from Southport.

Vessel: 37ft Monohull M.V.Grinner
Skipper: Craig Newton.
Crew: Gailforce.
Pax: Paul Walbridge (Leader & organizer), Willem Renema, Wendy
Wilesmith, Rob Morris, Brian Willey, Brian Russell, Jim Sneddon, Jan
England, Steve Murray, Rod Gardner, Tom Wheller, Nigel Adlam, Alan
Crawford, Greg Anderson.

Weather conditions: A High over the Tasman with a ridge extending alone
the east coast of Queenslandbrought 10-15 knot E-SE winds to south coast
waters. Some coastal cloud early on brought a few light showers,
clearing to a fine day out wide with little cloud cover and good
visibility. Max. air temp. 27* C. Barometer 1020 hPa.

Sea conditions: Early on, seas to about 1 metre on about a 1.5 metre
swell, out wide seas abating somewhat on about a 1.8 metre swell.
Current out wide running at about 2 knots. Sea surface temps. 24* C
inshore, rising to 25.7* in Slope waters. The sea surface temps. out
wide have averaged 2-3* C cooler this summer.

Left the Seaway at 0700 hrs and with a tide running and with an E-SE
swell slowed down to about 7 knots to keep in the comfort zone but still
managed to find the occasional *hole*. Due to the time taken to get
out across the Shelf, decided to drift just after entering Slope waters
at 1050 hrs. Proceeded to drift and release *chum* until 1253 hrs,
then proceeded for home, arriving back at the Seaway at 1515 hrs. This
was a bit earlier than normal but some of us had to get back to
Brisbaneto vote in the local council elections. Total duration of trip 8
hrs 15 mins.

On leaving the Seaway, several trawlers were returning from a nights
work so we looked out for any shearwater rafts, large numbers of Silver
Gulls were working the trawlers still but it wasn*t until after about
15 minutes that we encountered the rafts of Wedge-tailed Shearwaters,
disappointingly that is all there was, about 150 of them. Proceeding on,
we hadn*t even reached the 50 fathom mark, when the first 2
White-necked Petrels of the day flew past heading SW. Just 5 minutes
later they were followed by a dark phase Kermadec Petrel with another
dark-phase bird just 5 minutes later. We had a large tuna in a mesh bag
towed behind the vessel and tubenoses were starting to show a real
interest as a Great-winged Petrel had now appeared (race gouldi), a
somewhat uncommon bird in these waters.

By 1000 hrs we were approaching the Shelf-break as a 3rd dark phase
Kermadec Petrel approached the vessel followed by another Great-winged
Petrel and shearwaters were now starting to appear. When a 3rd
White-necked Petrel arrived we decided to stop and drift just into Slope
waters. Over the next couple of hours or so the numbers of Great-winged
Petrels peaked at nine with even more White-necked and Kermadec Petrels
plus a very close Gould*s Petrel. One White-necked Petrel was very
accommodating even landing on the water, with some great flight shots
taken as it made several passes to within metres of the vessel. I*ll
be putting a couple of snaps onto ABID. One or two Wilson*s Storm
Petrels were also now patrolling the slick, we had no sharks liver for
this trip but still, a few Tahiti Petrels were showing and approaching
close but the numbers were down on last month.

With the turnaround at 1253 hrs we still encountered a few birds back
on the Shelf with a solitary Pomarine Jaeger, Hutton*s Shearwater and
yet another close flyby Gould*s Petrel. Didn*t quite match the March
trip of a couple of years back but all in all a most satisfactory days
birding, conducted in relative comfort with no sickness reported.


Wilson*s Storm Petrel * 6 (3)
Wedge-tailed Shearwater * 175 (150)
Flesh-footed Shearwater - 9 (4)
Hutton*s Shearwater * 1
TahitiPetrel * 7 (3)
Kermadec Petrel * 4 (1)
Great-winged Petrel * 16 (9)
Gould*s Petrel * 2 (1)
White-necked Petrel * 6 (2)
Pomarine Jaeger * 1
Crested Tern * 35 (20)
Silver Gull * 123 (120)

Cetaceans * nil!!

Next trip is on April 19th, some spots available but filling quick.
Contact Paul Walbridge:
Phone: (H) 07 3391 8839 (W) 07 3139 4584
Michael Atzeni
7 Woden St, Murphys Creek 4352
Mob: 0499 395 485

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