birding-aus Wollongong NSW Pelagic Trip Report 10th July 1999

Subject: birding-aus Wollongong NSW Pelagic Trip Report 10th July 1999
From: "P.J. Milburn" <>
Date: Wed, 28 Jul 1999 19:30:48 +1000
Wollongong, NSW Pelagic Trip Report, 25th July 1999

Departed at 7.15 am and returned at approx. 3.00 pm.
Sea Conditions: Sea southerly, rising 3 to 5 metres on a 1 - 3.0 metre
Weather: Cool southerly winds, generally overcastwith heavy rain squalls
and even with some sunny periods later!   Air temperature 8 to 15 °C.
Wind:  up to 35 knots.
Water temperature 16.5 to 17.5 degrees C°.
Primary chumming location 34° 39' S - 151° 09' E


This was not a trip for the faint-hearted (who says birding is not a
sport?).  We were able to go to sea just ahead of the southerly change that
passed through the area during the morning punching into the rising sea and
torrential rain to reach a position at the edge of the continental shelf in
100FM of water.  We used the engines to hold our position into the sea
while chumming furiously for about 45 minutes.  My impression was that we
had arrived before the birds because at first there was not too much
excitment but things just kept arriving.  The ride home with a 5m sea
behind us was nothing short of spectacular making even a Northern Royal
Albatross difficult to locate behind the waves!!

The first seabird excitment of the day arrived in the form of a GREY-BACKED
STORM-PETREL spotted by a keen-eyed observer clinging on to the top deck
after some 15 minutes of chumminng.  The bird oblingingly stayed over the
slick and was later joined by a White-faced Storm-Petrel.   A White-headed
Petrel  approached very close to the boat giving thrilling views.  Several
Giant Petrels sat behind the boat and scoffed  most of the berley as it hit
the water.  Several interesting prions were noted among the Fairy Prions
and a Sooty Shearwater made a brief appearance.  With an air of
disappointment after the recent spectacular trips we truned for home.  The
best was yet to come.......  The first excitment arrived in the form of a
White-headed Petrel closely followed by another Sooty Shearwater.  Shortly
afterwards an adult BULLER'S ALBATROSS appeared at the stern which followed
us for nearly an hour.  This was soon joined by a first year NORTHERN ROYAL
ALBATROSS which was rather frustrating at first in that it flew fairly
close to the boat but then alighted on the sea, almost as though it would
have prefered more wind!  In amongst all this excitment a sub-adult
SALVIN'S ALBATROSS appeared which is a very unusual sighting indeed from
Wollongong.  Plenty of Shy Albatross were present allowing for clear
comparison of bill colouration, head and underwing patterns.   An
additional adult BULLER"S ALBATROSS was observed later.  One Buller's and
the Northern Royal followed us until we rounded the 5 Islands.

Birds recorded:

Species code:   Species name:   Numbers:

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

847 Gibson's Albatross Diomedea gibsoni 4 (2)
973 NORTHERN ROYAL ALBATROSS Diomedea sandfordi 1 first year
864 Indian Yellow-nosed Albatross Thalassarche carteri 5 (2)
931 BULLER'S ALBATROSS T. bulleri 2 (1) adult
091 Shy Albatross T. cauta 35 (15)
862 SALVIN'S ALBATROSS T. salvini1
088 Black-browed Albatross T. melanophrys 38 (15)
859 Campbell Albatross T. impavida 19 (5)
073 Great-winged Petrel Pterodroma m. macroptera 4 (2)
077 White-headed Petrel P. lessonii
971 Providence Petrel P. solandri 20(15)
929 Southern Giant Petrel  Macronectes gigantius 8 (4)
937 Northern Giant Petrel M. halli 4 (2)
080 Cape Petrel Daption capense australe 23 (15)
083 Fairy Prion Pachyptila turtur 85+ (30+)
084 ANTARCTIC PRION  P. desolata 5 (5)
942 NARROW-BILLED PRION P. belcheri 2 (2)
064 GREY-BACKED STORM-PETREL Nereis garrodia1
065 White-faced Storm-Petrel Pelagodroma marina 1
070 Sooty Shearwater Puffinus griseus 2 (1)
068 Fluttering Shearwater  P. gavia 7 (3)
913 Hutton's Shearwater  P. huttoni 1
104 Australasian Gannet Morus serrator 23 (15)
096 Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo 1
106 Australian Pelican Pelicanus conspicillatus 3 (3)
980 Brown Skua Catharacta lonnbergi 1
125 Silver Gull  Larus novaehollandiae 750+ (700+)
981 Kelp Gull L. dominicanus 14 (12)
114 White-fronted Tern  Sterna striata 2
115 Crested Tern  S. bergii 14 (3)

 In the harbour

099 Pied Cormorant Phalacrocorax varius

30 species of seabird identified outside the breakwater.


Australian Fur Seal 2

Future Trips,
All Pelagic Trips from NSW are operated at no profit to the organisers
being operated as group boat charters for the benefit of all who wish
to join us.

Sydney Pelagics depart on the 2nd Saturday of each month & Wollongong
Pelagics depart on the 4th Sunday of each month and Eden Pelagics on
the 3rd 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), 02-94115272  (h)

Pete Milburn: Mobile 0416-249 506, 02-6255 1313 Home or 02-62494326

Eden Pelagics are run on the 3rd Sunday of each month.   Bookings to
<> Barbara Jones or Ph (02) 6495 7390.

Note: SOSSA = Southern Oceans Seabird Study Association

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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