22nd June, 2002 SOSSA PELAGIC TRIP, WOLLONGONG, NSW, AUSTRALIA.
Report prepared by: P.J. Milburn.
Departed: 07:30 returned at approx. 16:15.
Sea conditions: 1.0 to 2.0m WSW to SW later.
Swell: S to 2.0m offshore.
Weather: Sunny with cloudless skies all day.
Temperature range: 12.2 to 14.7°C.
Barometric pressure: 1018 HPa rising.
Wind: SSW 10 kts WSW at first, rising to 15 kts SW later.
Sea surface temperature: 17.2 to 17.8°C.
Primary chumming locations: S 34° 32' - E 151° 20', S 34° 32' - 151° 22'.
A low-pressure system located south of Tasmania had directed strong
southerly winds into southern NSW waters on the day preceding this trip. A
high-pressure system over central Australia had moved overnight to the
east, far enough to moderate and shifts the winds to the west. The morning
was cold even with breeze behind us and it felt like no surprise when
several Black-browed Albatross joined just outside the harbour. Other
species were slow to appear and we were well offshore before the first
Indic Yellow-nosed Albatross was identified.
As we headed into deeper waters over the continental slope the species
diversity increased noticeably. We stopped at 200 fathoms to chum and
attracted the first Solander's Petrels of the day. The birds were
distinctly boat shy and after we had continued out to sea we observed a
number of interesting birds well astern. Doubling back towards this mixed
flock we were able to identify nominate race Great-winged Petrels, Cape
Petrels and a couple of Sooty Shearwaters. These birds shied away from us,
setting a trend that persisted for the day. A second chumming session in
550 fathoms of water failed to produce any additional bird species but
instead we were rewarded with good views of a small group of Sperm Whale.
Our return voyage yielded the first White-fronted tern of the winter, a
striking adult, along with several Southern Humpbacked Whales. A possible
LITTLE SHEARWATER was observed by Lindsay Smith about 5 NM offshore.
The views of Sperm and Humpbacked Whales exceeded the thrills provided by
seabirds on a pleasant winter day.
Birds recorded according to the latest Environment Australia Reporting
Species code: Species name: Numbers:
(Note: numbers in parenthesis = highest count at any one time)
080 Cape Petrel Daption capense australe 2 (2)
075 Great-winged Petrel Pterodroma m. macroptera 6 (6)
971 Solander's Petrel P. solandri 8 (2)
083 Fairy Prion Pachyptila turtur 170+ (75+)
068 Fluttering Shearwater Puffinus gavia 4 (1)
913 Hutton's Shearwater P. huttoni 2 (1)
070 Sooty Shearwater P. griseus 2 (2)
088 Black-browed Albatross Thalassarche melanophrys 15 (2)
859 Campbell Albatross T. impavida 7 (2)
861 White-capped Albatross T. steadi 5 (2)
864 Indic Yellow-nosed Albatross T. carteri 24 (12)
063 Wilson's Storm-Petrel Oceanites oceanicus 1
104 Australasian Gannet Morus serrator 10 (2)
106 Australian Pelican Pelicanus conspicillatus 1
980 Brown Skua Catharacta lonnbergi 1
981 Kelp Gull Larus dominicanus 6 (4)
125 Silver Gull L. novaehollandiae 400+ (350+)
114 White-fronted Tern Sterna striata 1
115 Crested Tern S. bergii 16 (7)
In the harbour:
100 Little Pied Cormorant P. melanoleucos 4
101 Australian Darter Anhinga melanogaster 1 male
106 Australian Pelican Pelicanus conspicillatus4
115 Crested Tern Sterna bergii 1
125 Silver Gull L. novaehollandiae 35
19 species of seabird identified outside the breakwater.
Humpback Whale Megaptera novaeangliae 5
Sperm Whale Physeter macrocephalus 6
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
To make a booking on the SOSSA Wollongong Pelagic Trips that depart on the
4th Saturday of each month contact:
SOSSA: Phone 02 4271 6004.
Carl Loves Phone: 0427 423 500
Pete Milburn: Mobile 0428 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
+61 2 6125 4173 'Phone
+61 2 6125 4326 FAX
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