Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Hillarys Pelagic Trip Report - 4 August 2013

Participants: Alan Collins (Organiser), John Graff (Organiser), Sue Abbotts, Ben Allen, Steve Burns, Wes Cooper, Cheryl Davis, Alison Gye, William Gye, Murray Hennessy, Mark Henryon, John Litherland, Josan Moss, Clive Nealon, Simon Nevill, Diego Pitzalis, Jill Rowbottom, Georgina Steytler

Conditions: Winds were forecast to be north-westerly at less than 10knts during the morning increasing to 15-20knt as the day progressed. Seas were forecast up to 2m, with a swell of 1m. Conditions on the day were roughly as forecast. Sea temperatures were in the range of 20-21 degrees Celsius.

Report: This trip produced a fairly standard variety of species, however overall numbers were low, with the notable exception of Soft-plumaged Petrels. The low numbers of Indian Yellow-nosed Albatross was a surprise for this time of year, and the complete absence of Hutton’s Shearwater even more so as August is generally the peak passage time for the species off the south-west coasts (they had been recorded on all ten previous Hillarys Pelagics in August).

Cape Petrel, race australe (Snares Cape Petrel). Note the relatively limited white in the upperwing, particularly the extensive dark division between the two white patches.