birding-aus Sydney, NSW Pelagic Trip Report 25th September 1999

Subject: birding-aus Sydney, NSW Pelagic Trip Report 25th September 1999
From: "Tony PALLISER" <>
Date: 28 Sep 99 09:00:22 +1000
Sydney, NSW Pelagic Trip Report 25th September 1999    
Departed at 7.30 am and returned at approx. 4.00 pm.        
Sea Conditions: Smooth and calm.        
Weather: Warm and overcast.      
Wind: Very light from the SE      
Water temperature 17.9 to 18.4 degrees C.     
Another MEGA trip that will go down in the memory banks as one of the 
all time greats.  Generally the number of birds were down for September 
Some species that were expected were completely absent such as Yellow 
-nosed & Shy Albatross, Fairy Prion and White-fronted Tern.  But the 
rarities made up for that.  Highlights included an adult Light-mantled 
Sooty Albatross, Tahiti Petrel, Black-bellied Storm Petrel, Buller's  
Shearwater and a bird that was almost certainly a Kerguelen Petrel. The 
Light-mantled' was so obliging that it was too close to focus  
binoculars and a standard camera lens was necessary for those trying to 
get photographs as we attempted to hand feed it.  Similarly the Black- 
bellied Storm Petrel circled the boat providing everyone with fine  
views of the black belly.  However, the real highlight were the Hump- 
backed Whales which were truly breathtaking as they (at least 5 of  
them) circled the boat continuously for over an hour 'spy hopping',  
'tail flicking', spraying those on board, calling and even breaching. 
At times they were so close and so inquisitive that they would swim for 
the boat at "ramming speed" (as one person pointed out) and then dive  
directly under the stern only to reappear again off the bow as they  
played with each other.  Words cannot describe the exhilaration and  
impact this had on the passengers and crew.  It is illegal to get too  
close to whales in Australia, but what can you do in situations like  
this? Other than turn the engines off and enjoy the show.  The  
Kerguelen Petrel sighting was another one of those brief views but  
direct comparison with Providence Petrel helped. This bird looking  
particularly large-headed, narrow-winged, about 30% smaller than  
Providence and flying extremely fast. I hope to post a few  
photographs on to the web page at the end of next week.     
Those on board,      
Steve Anyon-Smith, Chris Benesh, Tony Palliser and the Field Guides 
tour group    
(Note: numbers in brackets = highest count at any one time)      
086 Wandering Albatross 15+       
-----847 gibsoni 10+ (4)       
-----846 antipodensis 2 (2)   
--- others 1 (stage 1 bird)      
088 Black-browed Albatross 10-15 (5)      
-----088 melanophrys type 5+       
-----859 impavida 2 (1) 
073 Great-winged Petrel 6 (3)      
971 Providence Petrel 15-20+ (6)      
935 KERGUELEN PETREL 1 (probable sighting) 
--- Giant Petrel Sp. 1      
984 Cape Petrel 15+ (8)    
063 Wilson's Storm Petrel 2 (1)       
068 Fluttering Shearwater 10+  
913 Hutton's Shearwater 20+ (mixed flock) 
071 Short-tailed Shearwater 1 
069 Wedge-tailed Shearwater 50+ 
104 Australasian Gannet 6 (1)      
125 Silver Gull 40+      
115 Crested Tern 30+ (15+)   
100 Pied Cormorant 2 (in the harbour) 
106 Australian Pelican 5 (in the harbour)      
Hump-backed Whale 8+ 
Common Dolphin 10+ 
Bottle-nosed Dolphin 20+ 
Risso's Dolphin 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 with the next 
trip scheduled for the 16th October 1999. Wollongong Pelagics depart 
on the 4th Sunday of each month, although there will be a change to the  
4th Saturday of each month throughout 2000.  Eden Pelagics will  
continue to be 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.   

To unsubscribe from this list, please send a message to

Include ONLY "unsubscribe birding-aus" in the message body (without the

<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>
  • birding-aus Sydney, NSW Pelagic Trip Report 25th September 1999, Tony PALLISER <=

The University of NSW School of Computer and Engineering takes no responsibility for the contents of this archive. It is purely a compilation of material sent by many people to the birding-aus mailing list. It has not been checked for accuracy nor its content verified in any way. If you wish to get material removed from the archive or have other queries about the archive e-mail Andrew Taylor at this address: andrewt@cse.unsw.EDU.AU