Newcastle NSW Pelagic Trip Report 8 October 2000

Subject: Newcastle NSW Pelagic Trip Report 8 October 2000
From: richard baxter <>
Date: Mon, 9 Oct 2000 04:43:49 -0700 (PDT)

Newcastle Pelagic trip report 8 October 2000

Those on board: Richard Baxter, Phil Hansbro, Alan Stuart, Jim Smart, Michael Kearns, Graeme O'conner, Keith Laverick, Colin Goodenough, Dick Jenkin,  Ann Lindsey.

A good trip in difficult conditions with 17 birds seen outside the heads.  We departed Swansea at 7.15am and headed east to our first chumming location about 10km offshore.  The conditions were warm to hot and the ocean was as flat as a tack.  In addition to this it was completely still with no wind for nearly the entire trip.  A good list of birds were seen, but apart from the Wedge-tailed and Short-tailed Shearwaters all species were in low numbers.   For example, we had been chumming past the shelf about 60km offshore for about 30minutes and had only a handful of Wedge-tailed Shearwaters around the boat..

At the first stop 10km offshore we had 8 Black-browed Albatross, 1 Common Tern and 1 Aust Gannet around the boat.  We also had good views of both Fluttering and Hutton's Shearwater as well as 7 Wilson's Storm Petrel. The Storm Petrels all kept their distance from the boat but this was compensated by a couple of Flesh-footed Shearwaters landing at the back of the boat and feeding.

We stayed at this location for 45minutes before continuing out to past the shelf to about the 60km mark.  It was very quiet to start with here, but small numbers of birds gradually made their way to the boat. We saw Pomerine Jaeger (1), Providence Petrel (4), Wandering Albatross (1), White-faced Storm Petrel (1), Sooty Shearwater (1), Buller's Shearwater (1), Wilson's Storm Petrel (10), and Great-winged Petrel(1). We stayed at this location for 2hrs and perhaps the previous days hot weather and the calm conditions contributed to a lack of large numbers of birds.  

On the way back we stopped at about 40km offshore and were visited by our first Cape Petrel of the day and about 8 White-faced Storm Petrels and several Wilson's Storm Petrels.

Bird List

Wedge-tailed Shearwater

Short-tailed Shearwater

Fluttering Shearwater

Hutton's Shearwater

Buller's Shearwater

Flesh-footed Shearwater

Sooty Shearwater

Wilson's Storm Petrel

White-faced Storm Petrel

Wandering Albatross

Black-browed Albatross

Aust Gannet

Pomerine Jaeger

Providence(Solanders) Petrel

Cape Petrel

Common Tern

Great-winged Petrel

Other Critters included:

1) Several Common Dolphins Following boat

2) Excellent views of a large Sunfish.

The next trips run from Newcastle by the Hunter Bird Observers Club will be on the 4 November 2000 and the 31 March 2001.  All trips are organised at no profit to the club.

Richard Baxter





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