Monday, June 27, 2011

Winter Pelagic Challenge!

This weekend I went to Port MacDonnell for another pelagic with the hope of adding to my pelagic list.

Colin and my first stop was Keith roadhouse to get much needed coffee and to visit the Blue-faced Honeyeaters. 5 birds put on a show until a Peregrine Falcon decided to pay them a visit.

We got back on the road but instantly had to stop when I saw 2 Spotted Harriers hunting next to the road. We watched as they hunted and they got closer and closer to us. One of them then caught a mouse right in front of us!

Smiles all round as we climbed back into the Landcruiser and continued on our way. Next stop was Padthaway Conservation Park where we found Yellow-faced Honeyeater & Shy Heathwren while slowly driving through the park.

Even though the sun was setting we decided to still visit Glen Roy Conservation Park where we were greeted by plenty of Jacky Winters and a White-bellied Cuckoo-shrike.

It was then a mad dash to Port MacDonnell to check into our accomodation and head out to dinner.

7am we met Mark Moody and Jamie who had rescued some fishermen over night  and have now been declared heros. We boarded the Remarkable in out wet weather gear and braced ourselves for the 6 -8 metre swells providing an interesting ride out to or first stop at the Shelf. 

After a couple of hrs bouncing around the boat and getting covered in huge walls of sea water we gave thanks for the invention of KWELLS.

We were rewarded for our efforts by great views of Cape Petrel, Grey-backed Storm Petrel, Wilsons Storm-petrel, Fairy, Antarctic, Slender-billed and Salvins Prion, Indian Yellow-nosed Albatross, Great-winged Petrel, Shy Albatross, Black-browed Albatross along with Arctic Tern.

Antarctic Prion

Salvins Prion have a broad bill!!!

Campbell's Albatross

Cape Petrel

Northern Giant Petrel

Indian Yellow-nosed Albatross

Then we headed out to the Hotspot where we enjoyed plenty of prions & storm-petrels.We then enjoyed a BBQ lunch. It is almost a given that the minute you put a sausage in your mouth a bird would be called. Sausages went all over the place when the only Great Albatross was called - Northern Royal.

As we headed back in we stopped at the bank and also enjoyed Fluttering and Huttons Shearwaters which are extremely difficult to get near.

If you enjoy a challenge try pelagic photography in winter!!

Slender billed Prion

Slender Billed Prion

Giant Petrel