Gisborne Pelagic Report, July 2020

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Gisborne Pelagic Report, July 2020

Postby RussCannings » Mon Jul 27, 2020 11:09 am

Good morning all,

During the past weekend, 10 birders took part in a 'double-header' pelagic (one per day) out of Gisborne on board the 45 foot Touchwood skippered by the aptly named 'Scruffy'. We left each day around 645am and returned between 4 and 5pm, spending most of the day out around the 1km depth mark which is roughly 18 nautical miles east of Gisborne.

Conditions on both days were sunny and relatively calm, with variable swell from 1-2 meters and cool morning breezes easing later in the day.

The highlight for both days would certainly have to be many close flybys of GREY PETREL--seemingly a reliable species off this coast in winter. 10 taxa of albatross was also impressive.

Here is the full (offshore) list from the first day (Some numbers were hard to determine precisely as, with the exception of Cape Petrel, most birds were coming and going through the day):

Buller's Albatross- 3 ad (Not identified to ssp)
White-capped Albatross- 37
Salvin's Albatross- 11
Black-browed Albatross- 22
Campbell Island Albatross- 2
Unidentified Mollymawk- 9
Southern Royal Albatross- 7
Northern Royal Albatross- 2
Wandering Albatross (Unidentified taxa)- 4
'Snowy' (nominate Wandering) Albatross- 1 (immature/subadult showing large size, flattened crown and long bill)
Antipodean Albatross- 1
Gibson's Albatross- 13
Unidentified diomedea albatross- 3
White-faced Storm-Petrel- 3
Northern Giant Petrel- 14
Unidentified Giant Petrel- 2
Cape Petrel (Snares)- 101
Cape Petrel (Antactic/nominate)- 8
Grey-faced Petrel- 31
Fairy Prion- 11
prion sp. 1 (likely Fairy but seen at distance)
GREY PETREL- 12 (Max 2 at one time, but single birds coming and going throughout the day. Could have been 2, could have been 20!)
White-chinned Petrel- 2 (including one very white-chinned/throated individual)
Fluttering Shearwater- 361 (Interestingly most of these were 10+ miles offshore)
Little Shearwater- 3
Common Diving Petrel- 10
Australasian Gannet- 14
White-fronted Tern: 87 (Mostly well offshore, moving with Fluttering Shearwater after baitfish)
Kelp Gull- 6+

Non-birds seen: Blue and Mako Sharks (2 each), and 1 NZ Fur Seal

[I was not present for the second day but I understand the trip list was fairly similar though with lower numbers overall, likely due to calmer conditions. A single Sooty Shearwater was also seen on that day]

Thanks to Brent for keeping the master list. A lot of extra atlassing completed to and from Gisborne so a very productive weekend on the whole.

Russ C
Morrinsville, NZ
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Re: Gisborne Pelagic Report, July 2020

Postby Davidthomas » Tue Jul 28, 2020 10:40 am

Was an awesome trip! Definitely shows it’s reputation for Grey Petrel in winter. Haven’t heard that sort of number of birds being seen anywhere for quite a while. Will edit some photos in later this week.
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David Riddell
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Re: Gisborne Pelagic Report, July 2020

Postby David Riddell » Thu Jul 30, 2020 4:03 pm

Yes, a great day out. I was a bit curious about how deep we'd gone (this was the Sunday trip), so made a rough track of the key bits on my GPS and have overlaid it on a hybrid of Google Earth and a low-res nautical chart. The three close-together contours we crossed at the outer point of the trip (where we spent most of our time, drifting with the current and wind) are 200, 500 and 1000m, so pretty deep. We then cruised up to the Ariel Bank where Scruffy hoped to find some fish that might have attracted birds. Didn't really work, but there was a very lost sooty shearwater, which was interesting - they should be in the North Pacific.
Gisborne pelagic track.jpg
Gisborne pelagic track.jpg (153.39 KiB) Viewed 557 times
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Re: Gisborne Pelagic Report, July 2020

Postby Davidthomas » Sat Aug 01, 2020 9:18 pm

Just a couple of quick photos of the exulans Wanderer, and the obliging Grey Petrel
DSC_3334.jpg (241.02 KiB) Viewed 467 times
DSC_3113.jpg (329.61 KiB) Viewed 467 times
Steve Wood
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Re: Gisborne Pelagic Report, July 2020

Postby Steve Wood » Sat Aug 01, 2020 10:31 pm

Excellent Dave - great shots. Thanks for posting.
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Re: Gisborne Pelagic Report, July 2020

Postby Jan » Sun Aug 02, 2020 10:37 am

geez, david, you must have a good camera now. Fantastic pics!

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