22/9/01 Wollongong NSW SOSSA Pelagic Trip Report

To: Birding-aus <>
Subject: 22/9/01 Wollongong NSW SOSSA Pelagic Trip Report
From: Peter Milburn <>
Date: Wed, 24 Oct 2001 16:40:38 +1000

Report prepared by: P.J. Milburn.

Departed: 07:15 returned at approx. 17:00.
Sea conditions: Calm at first and waves to 1.0m NE late in the afternoon.
Swell:  to 1.0m SE.
Weather: Sunny with patchy cloud later, 14 to 26°C.
Barometric pressure: 1024 steady.
Wind: Light and variable until NE 10 to 15 kts in mid afternoon.
Sea surface temperature: 18.9 to 20.4°C.
Primary chumming location: S 34° 27' - E 151° 24'.


A wonderful spring day and calm seas, ideal for sighting marine mammals but
not really conducive to keeping procellariiformes on the wing.    Perhaps
the predicted north-easterly change would help later in the day.

Small numbers of Hutton's and Fluttering Shearwater were searching the
reefs just offshore from Wollongong Harbour with a single Wedge-tailed
Shearwater in their midst.  In the calm conditions it was easy to find
Little Penguin also foraging over these reefs.  Considerably more obvious
in these quiet waters was a New Zealand Fur Seal.

The number of Wedge-tailed Shearwater following the boat increased steadily
as we proceeded toward the continental slope.  Once in deeper water, the
first Flesh-footed Shearwater of the spring boat trips was encountered
adding interest to an otherwise quiet passage.

As usual, once wide of the continental shelf proceedings livened up!
Solander's Petrel were encountered with a group of Pygmy Killer Whale,
which in turn were somehow involved with a melee of modestly sized
Yellowfin Tuna.  The only notable bird in the mob was a single Common Tern.

At our chumming location in 450 fathoms of water, a Gibson's Albatross, 2
Cape Petrel and a Wilson's and a White-faced Storm Petrel appeared

Following the recent trend, the trip back to harbour provided further
interest.  Still in 185 fathoms were joined briefly by a flock of 45 Little
Back Cormorants and a single Great Cormorant, which alighted in our wake.
While these birds are frequently observed inshore in small numbers this was
an unprecedented event for Wollongong pelagic trips.  Southern Humpback
Whales were also encountered, which entertained us with a protracted
display of breaching.


Up to 6 Southern Humpback Whales breaching.

Birds recorded according to the latest Environment Australia Reporting

Species code:                   Species name:           Numbers:

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

005 Little Penguin Eudyptula minor 15 (5)
080 Cape Petrel Daption capense australe 2 (2)
971 Solander's Petrel Pterodroma solandri 17 (12)
068 Fluttering Shearwater Puffinus gavia 70+ (50+)
917 Hutton's Shearwater P. huttoni 5 (2)
069 Wedge-tailed Shearwater P. pacificus 300+ (150+)
071 Short-tailed Shearwater P.  tenuirostris 3 (1)
072 Flesh-footed Shearwater P. carneipes 12 (8)
847 Gibson's Albatross Diomedea gibsoni 1
859 Campbell Albatross Thalassarche impavida 1
063 Wilson's Storm-Petrel Oceanites oceanicus 1
065 White-faced Storm-Petrel Pelagodroma marina 1
104 Australasian Gannet Morus serrator 5 (2)
096 Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo 1
097 Little Black Cormorant P. sulcirostris 45 (45)
106 Australian Pelican Pelicanus conspicillatus 1
981 Kelp Gull Larus dominicanus 4 (3)
125 Silver Gull L. novaehollandiae 34 (15)
115 Crested Tern Sterna bergii 30 (12)
953 Common Tern S. hirundo 1

In the harbour

096 Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo 1
097 Little Black Cormorant P. sulcirostris 1
115 Crested Tern Sterna bergii 1

20 species of seabird identified outside the breakwater.


New Zealand Fur Seal 1
Common Dolphin 6
Pygmy Killer Whale 3+
Souhtern Humpback Whale 6

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 us
as below:

To make a booking on the SOSSA Wollongong
Pelagics which depart on the 4th Saturday of each month contact

SOSSA: Phone 02 4271 6004.

Carl Loves Phone: 0427 423 500

Pete Milburn: Mobile 0416 249 506, 02 6255 1313 (AH) or 02 6125 4173 (BH)

To make a booking for Sydney Pelagics,
which depart on the 2nd Saturday of each month contact

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

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
Australian National University
GPO Box 334
ACT 0200

+61 2 6125 4173 'Phone
+61 2 6125 4326 FAX

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