29th OCTOBER 2000 Wollongong NSW Pelagic Trip Report

To: Birding-aus <>
Subject: 29th OCTOBER 2000 Wollongong NSW Pelagic Trip Report
From: Peter Milburn <>
Date: Wed, 1 Nov 2000 14:52:56 +1100

Report prepared by: P.J. Milburn
Departed at 7.30 am and returned at approx.4.00 pm.
Sea Conditions: Seas moderate, 1.5 to 2.0 metres swell 2 to 3 metre, south
easterly, abating in the afternoon
Weather: Variable between full cloud cover to full sunshine.  Max. 23°C
Barometeric pressure: 1020 HPa rising
Wind: Moderate   15 to 20 kts south easterly, dropping to 10 to 15kts later.
Water temperature 16.8 to 19.6 degrees C.
Primary chumming location:      S 34° 31' : E 151° 21'


The low pressure system in the Tasman had moved further east since the
previous day's trip, swinging the winds around to the south east.  From
years of prior experience we expected birds similar to the previous day,
with predominantly birds of New Zealand provenance but perhaps with some
birds from more northern waters in keeping with the season.

Once again albatross numbers were  high for the end of October.  It is very
unusual to see the numbers of Shy Albatross recorded on this trip as far
north as Wollongong in October.  Mercifully, we were able to identify a few
Pterodroma Petrels on this trip, in contrast to the previous day.

We departed the harbour in a friendly south-easterly breeze which had a
look of promise to it.  On this trip  we were able to head due east
although some unfortunate people found the conditions unpleasant.  Not long
out of the harbour we saw a Little Penguin alongside the boat and soon
after we were joined by the shearwater hordes.  As we headed east immature
Black-browed and Shy Albatross appeared, foraging over the wake.
Additional Albatross joined us until. at 75 fathoms. I observed a first
year NORTHERN ROYAL ALBATROSS approaching us.  We stopped the boat and
began to berley in earnest.  Other albatross joined the melee for food at
the stern.  While most of us were delighting in the NORTHERN ROYAL
ALBATROSS, which looked immaculate in the perfect viewing conditions,
Lindsay Smith yelled "this is a TRISTAN ALBATROSS!"   Lindsay and I had
been looking at one of the very few photographs of this species the
previous evening and I was forced to agree with him.  Carl Loves captured
the bird with a skill level that rivalled Lindsay's skill in its
identification.  The bird had been banded and, expecting a South African
band, I was pushed further into a state of perpetual amazement to see that
it was one of our own!  The bird was banded by SOSSA off Wollongong on
September 1, 1999.  At that time it was in its second year so it was mostly
brown and was identified as TRISTAN ALBATROSS on the basis of morphometrics
alone.  This year the plumage characteristics confirmed its identity and
photographs were obtained.  The details of this occurence will be published
in due course.

The NORTHERN ROYAL ALBATROSS followed us out to 420 fathoms and continued
to steal food from the other albatross, which appeared tiny by comparison.
No further rarities were recorded although, as usual, it was good to see so
many seabirds at close quarters.  On the return to port solitary Wilson'
Storm-Petrels were observed close to shore.


A mixed flock of TRISTAN, Gibson's, NORTHERN ROYAL, Black-browed, Campbell,
Shy and Indic  Yellow-nosed Albatross feeding at the stern the boat!

Birds recorded (positively identified) according to latest Environment
Australia Reporting Schedule:

Species code:   Species name:   Numbers:

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

005 Little Penguin Eudyptula minor 1
080 Cape Petrel Daption capense australe 12 (8)
075 Great-winged Petrel Pterodroma macroptera gouldi 12 (5)
971 Solander's Petrel P. solandri 1
083 Fairy Prion Pachyptila turtur 5 (2)
068 Fluttering Shearwater Puffinus gavia 13 (4)
913 Hutton's Shearwater P. huttoni 3 (1)
069 Wedge-tailed Shearwater P. pacificus 20 (10)
070 Sooty Shearwtater P. griseus 4 (1)
071 Slender-billed Shearwater P. tenuirostris 5 000+ (750+)
845 TRISTAN ALBATROSS Diomedea dabeneena 1 (possibly 2)
847 Gibson's Albatross D. gibsoni 12 (7)
088 Black-browed Albatross Thalassarche melanophrys 9 (2)
859 Campbell Albatross T. impavida 13 (8)  one adult
091 Shy Albatross T. cauta 31 (9)
861 White-capped Albatross T. steadi 8 (5)
864 Indic Yellow-nosed Albatross T. carteri 2 (1) one adult
063 Wilson's Storm Petrel Oceanites oceanicus 54+ (48)
104 Australasian Gannet Morus serrator 18 (15)
128 Arctic Jaeger Stercorarius parasiticus 1
945 Pomarine Jaeger S. pomarinus 1
981 Kelp Gull Larus dominicanus 3
125 Silver Gull  L. novaehollandiae 64 (35)
115 Crested Tern Sterna bergii 4 (2)
114 White-fronted Tern S. striata 2 (1)
953 Common Tern S. hirundo 18 (5)

In the harbour

100 Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo 2
106 Australian Pelican Pelicanus conspicillatus 11

27 species of seabird identified outside the breakwater.

None observed.

Our departure was delayed yet again by people who had booked on the trip
but did not arrive.  PLEASE contact the skipper on his mobile 'phone if a
problem has arisen (the number is  0427 423 500)... remember 20+ people are
cursing you!

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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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  

Birding-Aus is on the Web at
To unsubscribe from this mailing list, send the message
"unsubscribe birding-aus" (no quotes, no Subject line)

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