*24^th JULY 2010* SOSSA PELAGIC TRIP, WOLLONGONG, NSW, AUSTRALIA.
Report prepared by: Lindsay E. Smith.
*Departed: *07:10 returned at 15:35.
Sea conditions:1.5 - 2m easing later in the day
*Swell:* South-SE to 1.5 to 2.5 m decreasing to 1.0 to 1.5 m during the
*Weather:* bright sunshine with scattered cloud during the late morning.
Clearing later in the day
*Temperature range:* 7 to 17°C.
*Barometric pressure:* 1028 HPa.
*Wind:* South -SE 10 to 20 knots in the morning easing later in the day
to the South east 8 to 10 knots in the afternoon.
*Sea surface temperature:* 18°C.
*Primary chumming location:* S 34° 27' - E 151° 15'.
*A high-pressure system was located in the Tasman Sea and the Great
Australian Bight, creating a stable weather pattern with gentle, mostly
south easterly, breezes. The day looked very promising indeed, as we
cruised out of the harbour in near perfect conditions. A few Crested
Terns and Australasian Gannets were patrolling the inshore waters, as
were good numbers of Albatrosses including Wandering, Black-browed,
Campbell's and Shy types feeding on Giant Cuttlefish. We had brief views
of a small group of White-fronted Terns as we cruised past the
Wollongong Trap Reef. Generally, the inshore waters were quite
productive, although with smaller numbers of Fluttering Shearwaters and
Fairy Prions than was to be expected at this time of the year. The
Silver Gulls were conspicuous by their low numbers, though breeding on
the Five Islands was well underway.
With the near full moon, marine life was plentiful and, once past the
outermost reef system, things began to improve. A large Striped Marlin
was observed cruising along the surface with its caudal fin projecting
more than 60cm above the surface. At the 80-fathom line we encountered
the first and only/ /Gadfly/ /petrel of the day. It was a Solander's
Petrel which flew across our stern. Here to we were also joined by
several more Wandering Albatrosses/, D.exulans/, and the first of the
Brown Skuas for the day.
As conditions eased, we stopped to drift and burley. We were soon joined
by a variety of seabirds, including the only Buller's Albatross and Cape
Petrel for the day. Eventually the birds lost interest in us and
alighted, well fed, on the ocean. We had to set course for the harbour
and leave this productive patch of blue water. We stopped briefly
outside a reef at 60-fathoms and attracted a spectacular crowd of birds,
mainly albatrosses, including good numbers of Yellow-nosed,
Black-browed, Campbell's, Shy, White-capped, Wandering and Gibson's.
Kelp Gulls of at least three different ages, Immature, 1^st winter, 2^nd
winter 3^rd winter and adult, gave an insight into the plumage
development of this species. Fluttering Shearwaters, Fairy Prions,
Crested Terns and Gannets soon joined the flock as we stopped to catch
and band albatrosses. The banding team were fortunate enough to capture
and band 14 albatrosses and a single Brown Skua. This gave the observers
on board an opportunity to see a number of species in the hand, up close
and personal and to see the research team in action. Birds captured and
banded included Wandering, Gibson's, White-capped, Black-browed,
Campbell and Indian yellow-nosed Albatrosses and the Brown Skua.
*Good numbers of albatrosses including a *Buller's.*
Many thanks to all who shared in the 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)
937 Northern Giant Petrel /Macrononectes halli / 3 (2)
080 Cape Petrel /Daption capense /1 (1)
971 Solander's Petrel /Pterodroma solandri / 1(1)
083 Fairy Prion /Pachyptila turtur /40 (8)
068 Fluttering Shearwater/ P. gavia/ 30 (10)
913 Hutton's Shearwater/ P. huttoni/ 2 (2)
086 Wandering Albatross /D.exulans /5 (3)
847 Gibson's Albatross /D. gibsoni/ 3 (2)
088 Black-browed Albatross /Thalassarche melanophris/ 40+ (15)
859 Campbell Albatross /T.impavida /5 (3)
*931 Buller's Albatross* /T. bulleri/ 1 (1)
091 Shy Albatross /T. cauta/ 3 (2)
861 White-capped Albatross /T. steadi/ 5 (3)
089 Indian yellow-nosed Albatross 40+ (18)
104 Australasian Gannet/ Morus serrator/ 4 (2)
106 Australian Pelican/ Pelicanus conspicillatus/ 5 (5)
8698 Brown Skua /Catharacta lonnbergi / 3 (2)
981 Kelp Gull/ Larus dominicanus/ 10+ (8)
125 Silver Gull/ L. novaehollandiae/ 200+ (200+)
115 Crested Tern/ Sterna bergii/ 5 (2)
114 White-fronted Tern /sterna striata 3
*In the harbour:*
096 Great Cormorant/ Phalacrocorax carbo/ 1
100 Little Pied Cormorant,/ P. melanoleucos/ 1
106 Australian Pelican/ Pelicanus conspicillatus/ 1
13 species of/ procellariiformes/ in a total of 21 species of seabird
identified outside the breakwater.
Welcome Swallow /Hirundo /
131 Sooty Oystercatcher/ Haematopus fuliginosus/ 1
235 Australian Hobby
*Fish: * Striped Marlin
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 W ollongong Pelagic Trips* These departs
on the 4th Saturday of each month contact: *SOSSA: Phone 02 4272 4626
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