We departed Mooloolaba Marina on Sunday March 4, 2018 at 6.35am. A steady 10-12 knot westerly (a far from desirable direction), a swell of 1-1.5m, and partially cloudy skies were the order of the day, with the temperature reaching 30. About half way out to the shelf we encountered a single Fluttering Shearwater – a species we don't often see - posing nicely.
A few Hutton's Shearwaters and Wedge-tailed Shearwaters were the only other birds we encountered before cutting the engine off the shelf at 9.30am, 33 nautical miles offshore in 300 metres: 26.3865 S, 153.52436 E. We began laying a berley trail and were soon joined by a couple of Flesh-footed Shearwaters; a few of these birds were about the boat the whole time we were on the shelf.
We'd not been out there long when we saw a distant Buller's Shearwater on the horizon which unfortunately didn't come close. Later in the morning a female Lesser Frigatebird flew over.
A couple of Pomarine Jaegers put in appearances, as did a single Tahiti Petrel. However, with that gentle westerly, it was pretty dead out there so we turned around at 12pm after drifting south-west for 5 nautical miles. We stopped in 160 metres to try our luck with another berley trail and saw a second Lesser Frigatebird and more Pomarine Jaegers. We arrived back at the marina at 3.35pm, seeing a few more Hutton's Shearwaters and Wedge-tailed Shearwaters on the way back.
PARTICIPANTS: Greg Roberts (organiser), Toby Imhoff (skipper), Zoe Williams (deckhand),
Eric Anderson, Margie Baker, Tony Baker, Sarah Beavis, Phil Cross, Jo Culican, Alex Ferguson, John Gunning, Nikolas Haass, Bob James, Elliot Leach, Sue Lee, James Martin, Rob Kernot, Andrew Naumann, Karen Rose, Raja Stephenson, Carolyn Stewart. Ebird list.
SPECIES: Total (Maximum number at one time)
Tahiti Petrel 1 (1),
Flesh-footed Shearwater 12 (5),
Wedge-tailed Shearwater 25 (6),
Hutton's Shearwater 8 (2),
Fluttering Shearwater 1 (1),
Buller's Shearwater 1 (1),
Lesser Frigatebird 2 (1),
Pomarine Jaeger 6 (2),
Crested Tern 15 (15),
Silver Gull 3 (3).
Offshore Bottle-nosed Dolphin 15 (6)