Saturday, May 17, 2014

Albany Pelagic Trip Report - 4 May 2014

Summary: This trip was another excellent trip, following on from the Sunday trip. 13 tubenose species were recorded, highlighted by more excellent views of Black-bellied Storm-Petrels, a dark intermediate morph Soft-plumaged Petrel, and large numbers of Little Shearwaters. Two South Polar Skuas were also seen on the return journey, unfortunately views were again rather brief and distant, and several Arctic Terns were seen at the shelf. As on the Saturday trip, albatross numbers were notably low.

Arctic Tern, one of three present around the boat for an extended period, note the fine, neat dark trailing edge to the primaries and relatively short, dagger bill. Photo courtesy Bernie O'Keefe

Albany Pelagic Trip Report - 3 May 2014

Summary: This trip was another excellent trip, continuing the recent success of early May trips from Albany – at least18 tubenose species were seen, a record for Albany pelagics, highlighted by several prions, including a Fairy Prion (a rarity in WA). A South Polar Skua (and probably a second) were also seen, strengthening suspicions that the species is a regular passage migrant off the WA coast in April-May – unfortunately views were frustratingly brief and distant. Although we saw a good variety of species, total albatross numbers were notably low.

Wilson's Storm-Petrel are abundant on passage off WA at this time of year. Photo courtesy Stewart Ford.