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BirdLife Photography Biennial Conference

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BirdLife Photography Biennial Conference Pelagic Trips

As part of the Conference tours, and thanks to Craig Newton, two Southport Pelagic trips will be run on the following days:

  • Friday 20th May 2022
  • Monday 23rd May 2022.

The skipper of MV Grinner – Craig Newton, has agreed to organize these trips.  Craig has a wealth of experience in pelagic birds charters and has been running pelagic trips out of Southport for the past 31 years.  Craig has worked most of the east coast of Australia on various vessels in a number of capacities and has a sound knowledge of the local waters off the Gold Coast.

Southport is one of the premier seabirding destinations in Australia and anywhere in the world.  To date 89 species of seabirds have been recorded, over all seasons. Southport’s uniqueness stems from its sub-tropical location, which in the winter still attracts seabirds (albatrosses, prions, cape petrels, etc.) from the Southern Ocean.

May is very much a transitional period for the southern Coral Sea.  The majority of the summer visitors/breeders have largely gone as the water temperature cools, winter visitors are beginning to arrive and most of the northward migration is over.

Although not a large the vessel (The Grinner) has ample room for the maximum of 16 patrons, with plenty of seating and room to move around and for taking photographs etc. There is seating inside and bunk space up forward for anyone needing some rest time.

As the boat’s capacity is limited, only paid conference attendees will be considered.  Those who register an interest in these trips before 10 March 2022 will be in the draw.  Names will be drawn randomly at the end of March and those selected will be advised in early April.  If you are interested in being a reserve in the event someone cancel please complete the form below.

Cost:  The cost is $165 per head and pre-payment is required to secure your seat.  Once your position on a trip is confirmed by the organising committee you will be provided with bank details to make payment.  You will have 2 weeks to make payment before the seat is offered to people on the reserve list.

Trip Cancellation: A pelagic trip can be cancelled at short notice due to, for example, bad weather.  May is usually a good time for suitable weather.  Unfortunately, if you are booked on the Friday trip and it is cancelled, unless someone cancels on the Monday trip, there will be no option to take part.  If you have made payment and can no longer attend a refund will be provided if a person can fill your spot from the reserve list.

Ian Wilson - Shy Albatross. BiLPBC 2022
Ian Wilson – Shy Albatross

What to bring: Binoculars, camera equipment, sunscreen or block-out & medication if susceptible to sea-sickness (please remember that these trips do not turn back because somebody gets seasick).

Clothing: This is a sub-tropical region, however, during the cooler months in the region it still doesn’t actually get cold, so just bring sensible warmer clothing to block any breezy conditions. Temperatures in in mid-winter are still around the low 20s.

Food & Drink: Soft drinks are provided on board and light refreshments for morning tea. Patrons need to provide own bottled water and lunch. Some strong advice, do not partake of orange juice prior to the trip, experience shows this could be detrimental to your well-being.

Covid19 vaccinations:  All participants are required to be double vaccinated.

When & where to meet: The meeting place is at the Mariner’s Cove car park on the left hand side of Sea World Drive at Southport, 60/70 Seaworld Drive, Main Beach, UBD Map 29 M12, -27.969158, 153.426790.  Meeting time is at 0600hrs.  Parking is free with plenty of spaces available early in the morning.

The vessel returns to Mariner’s Cove at around 15:30.

BLPBC pelagic trips
Meet at Mariner’s Cove

Bird Species seen on May 2021 trip: White-tailed Tropicbird, Wilson’s Storm-Petrel, Coral Sea/New Caledonian Storm-Petrel, Wedge-tailed Shearwater, Short-tailed Shearwater, Fluttering/Hutton’s Shearwater, Tahiti Petrel, Providence Petrel, Australasian Gannet, Pied Cormorant, Common Noddy, Little Tern, Caspian Tern, Common Tern, Crested Tern, Silver Gull.

MV Grinner II - Birdlife Photography Biennial Conference Pelagic Trips
MV Grinner II
  • Class: 46 ft Badenach monohull MV Grinner II.
  • Build: Fibreglass, Smithton Tasmania.
  • Performance: Top speed 24 knots, normal pelagic cruising speed 10-15 knots.
  • Survey: 2B survey out to 200 nautical miles.  Pax 16 + skipper + 1 deckhand. Only purpose built pelagic vessel in Australia.
  • Skipper: Craig ‘Grinner’ Newton. Guide: Paul Walbridge.

For any further information please contact: 

Julie Sarna: registrations@blpbc.birdlifephotography.org.au

Seating allocation on the pelagic trips was exhausted as of 10 March 2022. 

If you would like to register your interest to purchase a ticket on a pelagic tour in the event of someone being unable to attend, please complete the form below and press submit.