South West Rocks (NSW) pelagic Report Sunday 29 June 2003

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Subject: South West Rocks (NSW) pelagic Report Sunday 29 June 2003
From: "Alan Morris" <>
Date: Sun, 13 Jul 2003 15:44:49 +1000
Hi Birders,
Barbara Lake, on behalf of the Northern NSW Group of Birds Australia organised a pelagic off South West Rocks on Sunday 29th June 2003 on the charter vessel "Seaspray", owned and skippered by Lawrie McEnally.  The boat departed at 600 hrs and on board were Hans Lutter, Harry Foran, Shirley Cook, Jenny Norton, Andrew Ley, Rene Meure, Phil Gilmore and Alan Morris.  We crossed th bar at 6.30 hrs and headed out wide. Seas choppy with a 2m swell coming from the south east, overcast sky and we went out 19 nautical miles.We returned to port at 1130 hrs due to unpleasant conditions at sea. At 900 hrs we were at 30 54 S, 153 16 E with no birds to be seen!
Out on the Continental Shelf, a north-east wind of 18-20 knots began to strengthen and on top of the SE swell made conditions unpleasant and because the wind deepened it was decided to return to port, due mainly to a possible difficult crossing of the South West Rocks bar on a run out tide, and a strong NE wind on top of a SE swell. There were few birds to see, the north-easter seemingly keeping all the birds away.
Species recorded (maximum seen at one time in brackets)
971  Providence Petrel 5 (2)
068  Fluttering Shearwater 2 (2)
864  Yellow-nosed Albatross 3 (2)
104  Australasian Gannet 24 (8)
096  Great Cormorant 32 (30)
098  Pied Cormorant  8 (2)
125  Silver Gull
115  Crested Tern
Once inside the bar, White-breasted Sea-eagle, Osprey, Brahminy & Whistling Kites were all seen as well as Pelicans, Darter, Little Black Cormorants and White-faced Herons. 
Good views were had of a number of Humpback Whales moving north along the coast.
Alan Morris
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