16th December, 2006 SOSSA PELAGIC TRIP, WOLLONGONG, NSW, AUSTRALIA.
Report prepared by: P.J. Milburn.
Departed: 07:30 returned at approx. 15:45.
Sea conditions: sloppy, 1.0 to 2.0m 'pineapple sea'.
Weather: overcast all day.
Temperature range: 18.1 to 21.1°C.
Barometric pressure: 1016 HPa rising.
Wind: variable, SE to E 8 to 12 knots.
Sea surface temperature: 19.1 to 21.0°C.
Primary chumming locations: S 34° 29' - E 151° 11', S 34° 30' - E 151° 19'.
A high-pressure system was moving into the region
and we enjoyed light southeasterly breezes under
its influence. The cloud cover and breeze, which
was noticeably cool, produced a rather
comfortable day for those, who had remembered to
bring suitable attire. The sea conditions were a
little sloppy at first but improved during the
day. The abundance of Wedge-tailed Shearwaters
and Crested Terns was puzzlingly low all day but
this did not impact upon the fact that we were to
have an outstanding day.
Our departure was delayed unduly because a number
of expected participants failed to appear at the
quayside but soon we were cruising through flocks
of foraging shearwaters. Short-tailed Shearwaters
predominated and several Pomarine Jaegers began
to follow us eastwards over Wollongong Reef. A
Hammerhead Shark circled us and an adult
White-capped and two immature Campbell Albatross
appeared from the south. More albatross
appeared; first a female Gibson's Albatross, then
a first year SHY ALBATROSS and finally more of
It seemed much more like winter than summer in
the cool breeze under the leaden grey skies and
the following mixed species group of albatross
reinforced that misconception. At the 80-fathom
line we stopped on a hunch for a drift-and-berley
session and we rewarded immediately with the
appearance of a second year BLACK PETREL.
Birds were few and far between over the waters at
the edge of the continental shelf but as we
reached deeper water we observed several adult
SOOTY TERNS and more Great-winged Petrels
appeared in small numbers. Several Short-beaked
Common Dolphins joined us as we pulled up at the
200-fathom line in order to set up another
drift-and-berley session. In addition to the
albatross species listed above we attracted a
juvenile Black-Browed Albatross, Great-winged
Petrels and not only Pomarine, but also Arctic
and LONG-TAILED JAEGERS.
As we began our journey back to port we
encountered the only Sooty Shearwater of the day.
Continuing the trend of recent times the return
leg was most productive; a small flock of terns
included another adult SOOTY TERN, 4 Common Terns
and the first Crested Terns of the trip! Other
notable observations were BULLER'S SHEARWATER and
Both the species diversity and the number of
individuals in the albatross congregation were
quite a surprise for a summer trip Wollongong
waters. More in keeping with the season, were
the excellent views of BLACK PETREL, BULLER'S
SHEARWATER, a LONG-TAILED JAEGER and several
adult SOOTY TERNS.
Birds recorded according to the latest
Environment Australia Reporting Schedule:
Species code: Species name: Numbers:
(Note: numbers in parenthesis = highest count at any one time)
073 Great-winged Petrel Pterodroma macroptera gouldi 41 (32)
917 BLACK PETREL Procellaria parkinsoni 1
068 Fluttering Shearwater Puffinus gavia 6 (2)
913 Hutton's Shearwater P. huttoni 4 (1)
069 Wedge-tailed Shearwater P. pacificus 50+ (25)
070 Sooty Shearwater P. griseus 1
071 Short-tailed Shearwater P. tenuirostris 750+ (450+)
072 Flesh-footed Shearwater P. carneipes 3 (1)
975 BULLER'S SHEARWATER P. bulleri 1
846 ANTIPODEAN ALBATROSS Diomedea antipodensis 1
847 Gibson's Albatross D. gibsoni 10 (6)
088 Black-browed Albatross Thalassarche melanophrys 1
859 Campbell Albatross T. impavida 3 (3)
091 SHY ALBATROSS T. cauta 5 (2)
861 White-capped Albatross T. steadi 4 (2)
104 Australasian Gannet Morus serrator 7 (3)
106 Australian Pelican Pelicanus conspicillatus 9 (8)
128 Arctic Jaeger Stercorarius parasiticus 5 (3)
945 Pomarine Jaeger S. pomarinus 28 (13)
933 LONG-TAILED JAEGER S. longicauda 1
981 Kelp Gull Larus dominicanus 2 (2)
125 Silver Gull L. novaehollandiae 75+ (50+)
115 Crested Tern Sterna bergii 3 (3)
953 Common Tern S. hirundo 4 (4)
120 SOOTY TERN S. fuscata 4 (1)
In the harbour:
096 Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo 2 (2)
097 Little Black Cormorant P. sulcirostris 4 (3)
100 Little Pied Cormorant P. melanoleucos 1
106 Australian Pelican Pelicanus conspicillatus 14 (10)
193 Striated Heron Ardeola striatus macrorhynchus 1
25 species of seabird identified outside the breakwater.
Short-beaked Common Dolphin Delphinus delphis 3 (3)
Scalloped Hammerhead Shark Sphyrna lewini
For previous trip reports and selected images from this trip visit
All Pelagic Trips from NSW are operated at no
profit to the organizers, 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 detailed below:
To make a booking on the SOSSA Wollongong Pelagic
Trips that departs on the 4th Saturday of each
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 Pelagic Trip that
departs from Rose Bay public jetty on the 2nd
Saturday of each month contact
Tony Palliser Ph; 02-99001678 (w), 02-94115272 (h)
To make a booking for Eden Pelagic Trips, which
are run on the 5th Sunday of each month as it
Barbara Jones or Ph (02) 6495 7390
Note: SOSSA = Southern Oceans Seabird Study Association
Dr P.J. Milburn
ANU ACRF Biomolecular Resource Facility
John Curtin School of Medical Research
Australian National University
GPO Box 334
Canberra ACT 0200
'Phone +61 2 6125 4326
FAX +61 2 6125 9533
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