Newcastle NSW Pelagic Trip Report 4 November 2000

Subject: Newcastle NSW Pelagic Trip Report 4 November 2000
From: richard baxter <>
Date: Sun, 5 Nov 2000 02:06:19 -0800 (PST)

Newcastle NSW Pelagic Trip Report 4 November 2000

Conditions: Departed 7.15am and returned at 4pm.

Seas slight with winds from the S/W and S/E about 10knots.

Reaching 60km S/E of Swansea.

Water temperature.18.5 degrees

Vessel: "OFFSHORE" from Lake Macquarie

Those on board:

Richard Baxter, Phil Hansbro, Alan Stuart, Alan Morris, Greg Newling, Craig Arms, Robin Benson, John McLennan, Phillip Rankin, Al Gillies, Ross Carlton, Anne Lindsay, Mike Newman.


Another good Newcastle Pelagic Trip, with most on board keen to see BLACK PETREL.  It didn't take long to track one down and it proved to be a very obliging bird, staying with the boat for most of the day and affording all on board excellent views and photographic opportunites.

It was a typical November trip with a good sprinkling of recent summer arrivals and a few winter species such as Cape Petrel and 3 sp of Albatross still hanging about.

We departed Swansea at 7.15am and our first stop was only one kilometre offshore where we stopped to view a raft of over 100 Fluttering  Shearwaters.  Continuing on we quickly saw our only Hutton's Shearwater and over 500 further Fluttering Shearwater.  Our first chumming location was the inner farms about 10km offshore.  Here we had fewer Fluttering Shearwater as well as the ubiquitous Wedge-tailed and Short-tailed Shearwaters.  A short wait resulted in our first Black-browed Albatross of the day, which was a juvenile.  This was followed by 7 further birds of which most were also juveniles.  At this location we also had 1 Arctic Jaeger, 1 Pomerine Jaeger, 2 Wilson's Storm Petrel, 2 A/Gannet, 6 Crested Tern and 1 Cape Petrel.

Our next stop was the outer farms which are 35km S/E of Swansea.  Here we saw 5 Black-browed Albatross, 2 Pomerine Jaeger, 1 Gannet, 2 Wilson's Storm Petrel, 2 Crested Tern, 1 Common Tern and Wedge and Short-tailed Shearwater.  We departed here on route to the shelf and travelled only a short distance before there was the shout,"BLACK PETREL !".  The bird was directly behind the boat and disappeared as quickly as it had appeared.  We stopped the boat and commenced chumming and before long we had it feeding at the back of the boat. The cameras came out and everyone got excellent views before we continued out to the shelf.

At the shelf we had 1 Black-browed Albatross, 1 Pomerine Jaeger, 4 Arctic Jaeger, our first and only Yellow-nosed Albatross of the day and 4 Wilson's Storm Petrel.  We decided to head out to the 60km mark and just before leaving our first Wandering Albatross came in and circled the boat for a few minutes before landing at the back of the boat for a feed.

At the 60km mark we had 1 Black-browed and 1 Wandering Albatross at the back of the boat as well as Black Petrel, 1 Wilson's Storm Petrel, 1 Pomerine Jaeger, 1 Gannet and the usual Wedge-tailed Shearwater.  We had been at sea for about 7hrs and had not seen a single Pterodroma in this time.  This situation was soon resolved with the appearance of 1 Providence Petrel and shortly after that 3 Great-winged Petrel.

Other Critters:

2 Unknown Whale

12 Bottlenose Dolphin

1 Large Sunfish

Newcastle Pelagic trips are organised by the HBOC and visitors are welcome to attend.  All trips are organised as non-profit.

Richard Baxter






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