Perth Western Australia Pelagic Trip Report Sunday 18th June 2000

Participants (18) :

Frank O'Connor (organiser), Des Agnew, Pam Agnew, Erica Anderton, John Brooke, Marjory Clegg, Kevin Coate, Christine Cooper, Dave Crossley, Jan Crossley, Joan Gye, William Gye, Dusty Millar, Warwick Pickwell, Pieter Poot, Shane Raidal, David Secomb, Robert Wilton

Conditions :

Departed Hillarys Boat Harbour at 7.25am - returned at 3.35pm.  The forecast was for a 2 metre sea on a 2 metre swell as a front was expected in the afternoon with winds swinging from 12-15 knots NE in the morning to 15-23 knots after midday from the NW.  However, the day was flat, calm and warm.

Description :

A disappointing trip for seabirds but outstanding for cetaceans with two groups of False Killer Whales being the highlight for the day.  There were only 5 pelagic species plus Great Skua and Australasian Gannet.  It was a slow start as expected until past Rottnest Island, and the return to Hillarys was very quiet except for some close Humpback Whales.  The species were very similar at every stop.

As we got to 115 metres depth there were good numbers of Yellow-nosed Albatross and Australasian Gannets plus a few Wilson's Storm-Petrels.  The first False Killer Whales were seen here.  We started burleying with fish scraps, meat scraps, pilchards, bread and fish oil.

The next stop was when the first Black-browed Albatross and Soft-plumaged Petrel were seen but they failed to approach the boat.  We continued deeper until we found a flock of birds on the water which proved to be nearly all Soft-plumaged Petrels with a few Great-winged Petrels.  There were almost no albatross in the deeper waters.

We headed north finding nothing different until we got back to about 120 metres depth where a Striped Dolphin jumped beside the boat and another pod of False Killer Whales were seen with good numbers of Yellow-nosed Albatross and at least four Black-browed Albatross.  There were also Bottle-nosed Dolphins.

We began to head back to Hillarys when we found a group of three Humpback Whales that gave very good views.

We made a quick stop at Little Island near Hillarys to see the Australian Sea-lions.

Thanks to the skipper Derek and the deck hand Dave.

Time/Latitude/Longitude/Depth/Distance/Bearing of most stoppages:

07:25 S31 49' 34", E115 44' 16", 6m, 0.0km, 0 (Hillarys Wharf)
08:30 S32 01' 02", E115 25' 59", 33m, 35.7km, 236 off West End Rottnest Island
09:20 S32 05' 49", E115 18' 55", 115m, 49.9km, 236 (stopped until 09:55) YNA, LFP Whales
10:10 S32 07' 50", E115 10' 38", 195m, 62.7km, 240 (stopped until 10:20) BBA, SP Petrel
10:35 S32 05' 37", E115 06' 31", 370m, 66.3km, 246 (stopped until 11:05) SP Petrels
11:30 S32 02' 22", E115 11' 14", 255m, 57.0km, 248 (stopped until 11:50)
12:15 S31 57' 37", E115 13' 16", 240m, 51.0km, 256 (stopped until 12:35) Lunch
13:00 S31 56' 23", E115 17' 38", 200m, 43.7km, 256 (stopped until 13:55) Striped Dolphin, LFPW, BN Dolphin
14:05 S31 54' 23", E115 21' 13", 200m, 37.3km, 259 (stopped until 14:20) Humpback Whales

Bird List (Christidis & Boles order) Total Number (Maximum at Same Time) :

Great-winged Petrel 6 (3)
Soft-plumaged Petrel 45 (35)
Black-browed Albatross 9 (4)
Yellow-nosed Albatross (race bassi) 100+ (30)
Wilson's Storm-Petrel 15+ (4)
Australasian Gannet 55+ (15)
Great Skua 17 (3)
Silver Gull 20 (8) most at or just after Rottnest Island
Crested Tern 30+ (10) most near Rottnest Island

Darter (1) harbour
Pied Cormorant (~100) mostly Little Island
Silver Gull (20+) harbour & Little Island
Crested Tern (5) Little Island

Mammal List :

Humpback Whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) 6 (3)
False Killer Whales (Pseudorca crassidens) 20 (12)
Bottle-nose Dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) (10)
Striped Dolphin (Stenella coeruleoalba) (4+)
Australian Sea-lion (7) Little Island

Fish List (caught by Dave) :

Green-eyed Dogshark (2)
Gummy Shark (1)
Spiny Mackerel (1)

Next Trip :

The future trips will be on Sunday 18th June 2000 and probably late August or early September.  For details contact Frank O'Connor on 08 9386 5694 or email

Copyright Frank O'Connor 1997-2004 Visits Last Modified 15th June 2003