It's been a couple of years since I've been on a pelagic birding trip so when I was invited to join some friends on a trip to Tassie to go out on a pelagic trip from Eaglehawk Neck I immediately agreed.
A group of us arrived, keen and full of expectation and booked in at the Lufra with ocean view rooms and good meals we knew this weekend would be great.
We left the jetty at 7.15am heading straight for the shelf passing the Hippolytes, craning our necks for birds immediately.
We had a few Common Diving Petrels on the way out. These birds are so difficult to photograph as when we see them the boat is going full pelt and the bird is also going at top speed in the opposite direction.
This splodge is actually a Common Diving Petrel
Photography was tricky as it was partially overcast and the sea got increasingly rough as the day went on.
We first stopped at 250 fathoms and put out burley and then again at 600 fathoms.
We had a lot of Wandering Albatross with 4 Gibsons, 1 Southern Royal Albatross, a few Black-browed and Campbells Tross, over 50 Shy Albatross and 1 Salvins & 1 Bullers Albatross.
Wandering Albatross - juvenile
1 Southern and 6 Northern Giant Petrel, about 8 Cape Petrel came in to the boat along with over 100 Fairy Prion.
Cape Petrel - the panda of the sea
Fairy Prion run across the water
We carefully checked each prion in the hope of finding something different and YES! BLUE PETREL! 14 Gore-Tex clad birders rushed to the side of the boat and all the cameras went into overdrive!
We also had good views of Soft-plumaged Petrel before about 8White-headed Petrel came into the boat and circled us hanging around for a while.
We had a fair few Great-winged Petrel (Gouldi) as well as a few White-chinned Petrel.
A few Providence Petrels flew past along with a few Grey-backed Storm-Petrels and White-faced Storm-Petrels who examined the slick. Brief views were had of a Hutton's Shearwater and a Sooty Shearwater along with Australasian Gannet, Created &White-fronted Tern.
Birding around Eaglehawk Neck is excellent, I'd suggest you allow a bit of time to look around if you are heading there!
Cape Barren Goose
Cape Barren Goose with young