September1998 Sydney Pelagic Trip Report

Subject: September1998 Sydney Pelagic Trip Report
From: "P.J. Milburn" <>
Date: Wed, 30 Sep 1998 17:25:01 +1000 (EST)

Departed at 7.10 am and returned at approx. 14.30 pm.  Sea calm with a
1.5 m SE swell, decreasing later.  Winds light and variable but with a 10
to 15KT NNE breeze for much of the morning.  Bright sunshine all day.
Water temperature 17.2 to 20.3 degrees C.

Just outside the heads a large number of terns, gulls,  gannets and
sherwaters were encountered.  In calm anticyclonic conditions we headed
well over continental slope to 30 Nautical Miles E of the Heads.
Solander's Petrels were observed unusually close to shore given the calm
conditions, at 6 and 10 NM east of the Heads.  A game fishing boats had
attracted a flock of birds at Brown's Mountain including 11 Cape Petrel.
We made a slick here hoping to "steal" the birds but with only modest
success.  A second drift was made after the observation of a distant
Pterodroma with dark underwings and a white belly.  Eventually, a
White-headed Petrel was observed in the distance.

The conditions made for a very slow day.  Pterodroma numbers were below
average and Short-tailed Shearwater numbers were very low.  Our last hope
was to sit on a berley trail for a couple of hours for which we were
rewarded with excellent views of a Cook's Petrel and fair views of a
Black-bellied Storm Petrel.  On the return trip, a White-faced Storm
-Petrel and another Black-bellied Storm Petrel were observed.

(Note: numbers in brackets = highest count at any one time)

In the harbour

Little Pied Cormorant  1 (1)
Little Black Cormorant 1 (1)
Pied Cormorant 1 (1)

At sea

Gibson's Albatross (D. gibsoni) 3 (2).
Diomedea sp 1 (1); a first year bird.
White-capped Albatross 1(1); a first year bird.
Black-browed Albatross (T. melanophris) 3 (2) first year.
Campbell Albatross (T. impavida)4 (3); first year.
Providence (Solander's) Petrel 28 (17)
Great-winged Petrel (gouldi) 9 (6)
White-headed Petrel 1 (1)
Cook's Petrel 1(1)
Cape Petrel (australe) 16 (11)
Sooty Shearwater 1 (1)
Short-tailed (Slender-billed) Shearwater 1 (1)
Wedge-tailed Shearwater 750 (500)
Fluttering Shearwater 1000+ (500+)
Hutton's Shearwater 60+ (60+)
Black-bellied Storm-Petrel 2 (1)
White-faced Storm-Petrel 1 (1)
Australasian Gannet 200 (175+)
Silver Gull 500 (450+)
Crested Tern 20+ (16)
Common Tern 4 (2)

20 species of seabird identified - outside Sydney Heads (-1 depending on
taxonomic view!)




Mako Shark 1
Sunfish 1

Sydney Pelagics depart on the 2nd Saturday of each month, Eden Pelagics the 3rd
Sunday of each month, and Wollongong  Pelagics depart on the 4th Sunday of
each month.
If you would like to join one of these trips please  contact either Tony
Palliser or Pete Milburn to make a booking.

Tony Palliser Ph; 02-99001678 (w), 02-94277563  (h)

Pete Milburn Ph; 0416-249506, 02-62551313 or Wk 02-62494326

Dr.Peter Milburn
Biomolecular Resource Facility
The Australian National University
GPO Box 334 Canberra ACT 0200  AUSTRALIA
Phone No.  <61> <2> 6249 4326
Fax No.    <61> <2> 6249 4326
E-mail Address  

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