9 June 2018 - Sydney Pelagic Report

To: birding aus <>
Subject: 9 June 2018 - Sydney Pelagic Report
From: Sydney Pelagics <>
Date: Fri, 15 Jun 2018 11:23:13 +1000

Compared to the conditions leading up to this trip the weather for the
day was thankfully predicted to be relatively benign with milder winds
and a 1-1.5m swell accompanied by patchy showers. There was very little
swell or wind on the way out giving a comfortable ride for the 23
passengers on board. Sea surface temperatures were around 20 C. While
drifting at the seamount conditions deteriorated with a change that
brought increased wind and rain. The list of species for the day matched
a typical June although numbers for Buller's Albatross and Wilson's
Storm-Petrel were at the higher end.

It was a relief to be out on the water after the cancellation of the
previous two trips due to very unfavourable conditions at the time.
Given recent sea-watching reports in the lead up to this trip most on
board were enthusiastic to get out to sea. With the MV Avalon arriving
early we were through the Heads and motoring out to sea earlier than

We had attracted a crew of Silver Gull hungry for a feed in the Harbour
which followed us out through the Heads. A few curious Australasian
Gannets passed the boat with a more adventurous Crested Tern coming in
closer. A White-bellied Sea-Eagle glided in high from the north making
its way to the boat before dropping down to the water line for a grab at
the berley. It wasn't long before we had our first Albatross behind the
boat. Black-browed. A few Bottlenose dolphin were also seen outside the
Heads just after 7:30am.

On the 23NM voyage out to Brown's we picked up the odd Fluttering-type
Shearwater. All Shearwater turned out to be Fluttering and continued
that pattern throughout the day. Motoring east we added Indian
Yellow-nosed, Shy and Buller's Albatross. Soon a Campbell Albatross was
picked out from the birds around the boat which turned out to be the
first of three seen during the day. A Brown Skua joined the party. An
easily identified individual from the others observed later in the trip
by its dishevelled flight feathers. A Northern Giant-Petrel made a line
to the boat but stayed mostly a distance away before disappearing. An
unidentified cetacean was spotted as well as Humpback whales some
distance from the boat. Fairy Prion were also making a presence. Close
to the seamount we started seeing Wilson's Storm-Petrel in increasing

Arriving at the eastern edge of the seamount in a little over 500m of
water we set up a berley trail and began to drift across the slope of
the mount. The first pterodromas for the day were seen some distance
from the boat. They were quickly identified as Providence Petrel.
Another Northern Giant-Petrel made its way to the back of the boat in
prime position making the most of the berley and giving everyone
excellent views. After drifting for close to 1NM we motored back down
the slick picking out more Storm-Petrel and Prions. We continued moving
on a path which would take us directly over the the summit of the
seamount. Here we set up another slick. It wasn't long before a change
came bringing increased wind and rain which left everyone huddled under
cover. Interest from the birds as well as interest in the birds dropped
off markedly. It was decided to motor further north in a slow westerly
arc away from the rain.

A handful of Albatross followed the boat on the trip back toward Sydney.
The occasional Prion was also seen as well as the odd Fluttering
Shearwater along with more Australasian Gannet. Approaching the Heads a
small pod of Bottlenose dolphin turned towards the boat to ride the bow
wave. Prior to entering the Heads two Little Penguins were seen to the
side of the boat. Tom also spotted a flock of Topknot Pigeons on the
seaward side of the Heads. Pelagic Pigeons?


(Note that the numbers in parentheses represent the approximate maximum
number of that species in view at one time)

Little Penguin  2 (2)
Indian Yellow-nosed Albatross  15 (6)
Buller's Albatross  10 (4)
Shy Albatross  15 (5)
Black-browed Albatross  24 (10)
Campbell Albatross  3 (2)
Northern Giant-Petrel  2 (1)
Providence Petrel  7 (5)
Fairy Prion  25 (10)
Fluttering Shearwater  10 (5)
Wilson's Storm-Petrel  25 (18)
Australasian Gannet  215 (50)
Brown Skua  3 (1)
Silver Gull  180 (100)
Crested Tern  15 (4)

Inshore Bottlenose Dolphin    8
Humpback Whale    4

The next Sydney pelagic trip is scheduled for Saturday 14th July 2018
departing from Mosman at 6.45am and Rose Bay at 7.00am.
All information on our trips including dates and contact details can be
found on the website at
Book at 
You can also find us on Facebook and post photos at

This report can also be found online at


                SYDNEY PELAGICS

                W: [1]   E: 

                M: Greg 0405 578 967 [2] or David 0408 905 666 [3]

                WEB SITE [4] | BOOKINGS [5] | PICK-UP [6]


[2] tel:0405-578-967
[3] tel:0408-905-666
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