Wollongong NSW Pelagic Trip Reports 26th August 2000

To: Birding-aus <>
Subject: Wollongong NSW Pelagic Trip Reports 26th August 2000
From: "P.J. Milburn" <>
Date: Fri, 1 Sep 2000 14:45:22 +1100

Report prepared by: P.J. Milburn
Departed at 7.15 am and returned at approx.4.30 pm.
Sea Conditions: Sea slight, 1 to 2 metres at first, dropping later.  Swell
to 2 metre, S, flattening in the afternoon
Weather: Glorious sunshine all day.  Max. 18°C
Barometeric pressure: 1004 HPa rising
Wind: Moderate  15 to 20 kts southerly, veering westerly later.
Water temperature 16.8 to 18.9 degrees C.
Primary chumming location S 34° 34' - E 151° 17'.


Spring has returned to the ocean.  A large contingent of overseas visitors
were treated to excellent views of our typical winter and early spring
seabirds.  Albatross numbers were good, although many of the adult
Thalassarche have now left these waters.  A few remained however and were
by now in immaculate plumage...... simply breathtaking.

We departed the harbour in a freshening southerly breeze.  With a rising
barometer we hoped that the winds would veer to the west keeping the sea
down.  Several miles out from harbour we were joined by the first
Wedge-tailed Shearwaters of spring which followed us all day.  One of this
contingent bore a metal band but was shrewd enough to stay away from the
boat, thus evading capture.  A New Zealand Fur Seal and a lively pod of
Common Dolphins started the excitment for the day and small numbers of both
Hutton's and Fluttering Shearwaters privided  some warm-up excersise for
brain and cold fingers.

Good numbers of birds attended the boat as were motored out to the shelf
break but once over the continental slope bird numbers and number of
species increased dramatically.  At a depth of 200 fathoms screams of STOP
THE BOAT greeted the passing of 2 SOFT-PLUMAGED PETREL.  With numerous
seabirds around us we decided to stay at this location and berely.  A
couple of storm-petrels and a small mixed species flock of prions soon
joined us.  Various pterodroma petrels investigated the boat during our
stay.  Additionally, a  total of 10 albatross of assorted species were
banded and released by the SOSSA team.  The return trip into a fresh
westerly wind brought us another SOFT-PLUMAGED PETREL, a Brown Skua and a
Southern Giant Petrel to round off a brilliant day.  Some of the typical
harbour dwellers even ventured out to greet us prior to out return to port!


SOFT-PLUMAGED PETREL, WHITE-HEADED PETREL, a large Snowy-plumaged Wandering
Albatross body-slamming a comparatively diminutive Gibson's Albatross and
an immauculate Indic Yellow-nosed Albatross in its full breeding dress.

Birds recorded according to latest Environment Australia Reporting Schedule:

Species code:   Species name:   Numbers:

(Note: numbers in parenthesis = highest count at any one time)

929 Southern Giant Petrel  Macronectes giganteus 1
080 Cape Petrel Daption capense australe 3 (3)
075 Great-winged Petrel Pterodroma m. macroptera 2 (2)
076 SOFT-PLUMAGED PETREL P. mollis 3 (2)
077 White-headed Petrel P. lessoni 3 (1)
971 Solander's Petrel P. solandri 15+ (15+)
083 Fairy Prion Pachyptila turtur 45+ (35+)
084 ANTARCTIC PRION  P. desolata 2 (2)
942 SLENDER-BILLED PRION P. belcheri 4 (4)
068 Fluttering Shearwater Puffinus gavia 505+ (500+)
070 Hutton's Shearwater P. huttoni 40+ (30+)
086 WANDERING ALBATROSS Diomedea exulans 2 (2) 1 adult male & 1 adult female
846 ANTIPODEAN ALBATROSS D. antipodensis 2 (2) 2 immature males
847 Gibson's Albatross D. gibsoni 35+ (15+)
088 Black-browed Albatross Thalassarche melanophrys 15 (9) only two adults
859 Campbell Albatross T. impavida 17 (14) only one adult
091 Shy Albatross T. cauta 6 (3)
861 White-capped Albatross T. steadi 12 (5)
864 Indic Yellow-nosed Albatross T. carteri 12 (5)
063 Wilson's Storm Petrel Oceanites oceanicus 1 (1)
065 White-faced Storm-Petrel Pelagodroma marina 1 (1)
104 Australasian Gannet Morus serrator 2 (1)
100 Little Pied Cormorant Phalacrocorax melanoleucos 1
106 Australian Pelican Pelicanus conspicillatus 1
980 Brown Skua Catharacta lonnbergi 1 (1)
981 Kelp Gull Larus dominicanus 5 (4)
125 Silver Gull  L. novaehollandiae 250+ (50+)
115 Crested Tern Sterna bergii 45+ (35+)
114 White-fronted Tern S. striata 5 (4)

In the harbour

981 Kelp Gull Larus dominicanus 1 adult
115 Crested Tern Sterna bergii 3
100 Little Pied Cormorant Phalacrocorax melanoleucos 3
106 Australian Pelican Pelicanus conspicillatus 18

29 species of seabird identified outside the breakwater.

Common Dolphin 250+
New Zealand Fur Seal 1

Future Trips,
All Pelagic Trips from NSW are operated at no profit to the organisers
being operated as group boat charters for the benefit of all who wish
to join us.  If you would like to join one of these  trips please  contact:

Either SOSSA or Carl Loves to make a booking on the SOSSA Wollongong
Pelagics which depart on the 4th Saturday of each month.

SOSSA: Phone 02 4271 6004.

Carl Loves Phone: 0427 423 500

Either Tony Palliser or Pete Milburn to make a booking for Sydney Pelagics,
which depart on the 2nd Saturday of each month..

Tony Palliser Ph; 02-99001678 (w), 02-94115272  (h)

Pete Milburn: Mobile 0416-249 506, 02-6255 1313 (AH) or 02-62494326 (BH)

Barbara Jones to make a booking for Eden Pelagics which are run on the 5th
Sunday of each month it occurs.

Barbara Jones or Ph (02) 6495 7390

Note: SOSSA = Southern Oceans Seabird Study Association

Dr.P.J. Milburn
Biomolecular Resource Facility
The Australian National University
GPO Box 334 Canberra ACT 0200  AUSTRALIA
Phone No.  <61> <2> 6249 4326
Fax No.    <61> <2> 6249 4326
E-mail Address  

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