Inala's Two Day Seabirds & Waders Tour of SE Tasmania
Tasmania is a renowned sea-birding destination. The Tasman Peninsula is situated relatively close to the edge of the continental shelf (around 21km offshore) where all the sea-birding action happens because of nutrient-rich upwellings from the deep ocean floor to the surface.These produce blooms of single-celled algae,which small pelagic crustaceans eat, which attract fish,which in turn become seabird food... The resulting high seabird diversity has earned Tasmania an international reputation as an excellent place to see a good variety of pelagic seabird species.
This short, punchy two-day/one-night tour combines a pelagic tour to the continental shelf with a day of wader and shorebird hunting. Different species can be found at different times of the year, so we are offering several trips on set departures throughout the year to maximise your chances of seeing quite a variety of species over several trips. If you wish to join more than one, every trip is different and pelagics are a bit addictive! We have scheduled the trips over weekends so they are also available to those that work, and Tassie is close enough to the Australian mainland that this may appeal as a weekend get-away for some interstaters.
Scheduled dates over the next year are:
Saturday 14 & Sunday 15 August 2021.
Saturday 13 & Sunday 14 November 2021.
Additional departures may be possible on request and according to demand.
Group size is 6-8 people + your Inala seabird guide to give you plenty of space in the vehicle and boat. You are encouraged to bring your cameras and binos!
Day 1. Shorebirds and waders of south-eastern Tasmania.
This morning we will meet at 08:00 at a pre-determined central location in Hobart (accommodation can be arranged the evening before on request at an additional cost). Our first stop will be Pitt Water Orielton Lagoon, which is a Ramsar site (a wetland of international significance) that usually yields a good variety of wading and water birds. Resident species found here throughout the year include Australian Pied and Sooty Oystercatcher, Musk Duck, Great Crested Grebe and Red-capped Plover as well as Caspian Tern and Kelp, Silver and Pacific Gulls. This area is also a critical feeding and roosting area for migratory waders, some of which travel over 25,000kms from the northern hemisphere on the east Asian-Australasian flyway to hang out here over the Austral summer. These include Far Eastern Curlew, Pacific Golden Plover, Bar-tailed Godwit and Red-necked Stint in summer, and Double-banded Plover in winter. We will then travel further east to Orford, the gateway to Tasmania’s east coast, where targets will include Hooded Plover, Fairy and Little Terns, and many other wading and shore birds. Our next stop will be Marion Bay (another shorebird and wader hotspot) before we travel south to the Tasman Peninsula where we will stay overnight. This evening we will have an optional seabird identification and ecology talk at our hotel in preparation for our big day ahead on the (hopefully not too) high seas tomorrow.
Accommodation: Tasman Peninsula (en suite hotel room). Meals included: L, D.
Day 2. Eaglehawk Neck Pelagic seabird excursion.
After an early breakfast we will transfer to the Eaglehawk Neck boat ramp to board our charter vessel, making our way into the vastness of the Southern Ocean in our quest for pelagic seabirds. Not long after we depart Pirate’s Bay, we should encounter Short-tailed Shearwaters in considerable numbers (October to May). We should also see Australian Fur-seals on Hippolyte Rock, a steep-sided, 65-metre high granite outcrop located not far offshore. A variety of seabirds including Little Penguin, Short-tailed and Sooty Shearwaters, Fairy Prions, Common Diving Petrels, and Black-faced Cormorants have been recorded breeding here.
With land still in sight we will reach the continental shelf, which is one of the finest places on the planet to see a diversity of albatross. Wandering, Southern and Northern Royal, Shy, Black-browed, and Indian Yellow-nosed Albatross are all possible throughout the year. Possible petrels include White-chinned, Great-winged, Grey-faced, the striking White-headed, and, in spring, Gould’s, Cook’s and Mottled Petrel. Shearwater diversity is also high, with Hutton’s, Fluttering, Sooty and Short-tailed Shearwaters all frequent over spring and summer. Wilson’s, Grey-backed and White-faced Storm Petrels and Fairy Prion are also regularly seen year-round, with other Prions, especially Slender-billed and Antarctic, occurring during the colder months. We may also encounter marine mammals, including Hump-backed Whale (a seasonal migrant), and Common and Bottlenose Dolphins. We’ve also seen other cetaceans on rare occasions. On our return to land around 15:00, we will set off back to Hobart, arriving around 16:30 where the tour will finish. Other private tour arrangements can be made either before or after this tour.
Accommodation: none (accommodation can be arranged on Hobart this evening at an additional cost on request). Meals Included: B, L.
Group size: 6-8 participants and 1 specialist birding Inala guide.
Tour Price: AUD$ 930 per person twin share. Single supplement: AUD$ 80.
Inclusions: One night en-suite accommodation, specialist seabird guide and transport for day and night excursions as outlined above, all meals and activities outlined in the itinerary (including the pelagic cruise), National Park entry fees, and GST.
Exclusions: International or domestic Australian airfares, airport transfers on arrival, accommodation in Hobart on night 0 or 2 and meals before or after the tour unless requested separately. Also excludes extra beverages with dinner and expenses of a personal nature (snacks, travel insurance, internet, tips etc).
Additional services: We can arrange either self-guided or guided extensions to other parts of Tasmania or Australia to compliment this tour. Please enquire at the Inala office and we will happily cater for you through our licensed travel agency.
Meals and drinks: Breakfast generally consists of a continental style breakfast with cereal, fruit and yoghurt and tea/coffee. Lunch will consist of a packed lunch style meal eaten in the field, with sandwich/filled roll, fruit, and a drink. Dinner is two courses and consists of several options for main with the choice of either an appetiser or dessert.
The itinerary: Whilst we aim to follow the itinerary as planned, please note that the itinerary provided should only be used as a guideline. Depending on individual trip circumstances, weather, and local information, the exact itinerary may not be strictly adhered to. The guides reserve the right to make changes to the itinerary as they see fit.
The Southern Ocean pelagic: This activity is weather dependant and may be cancelled under severe weather conditions. We will do what we can to reschedule if the weather is not suitable, but some last-minute changes may be required.