Newcastle Pelagic 11 Aug 2001 Trip Report

Subject: Newcastle Pelagic 11 Aug 2001 Trip Report
From: richard baxter <>
Date: Wed, 15 Aug 2001 22:56:29 -0700 (PDT)

Newcastle, N.S.W. pelagic Trip Report 11 August 2001

Departed Swansea weighbridge at 7.10am and returned at 3.30pm.

Sea conditions ? Flat

Water Temp: An unbelievable 22 degress at the shelf.

Weather ? Warm and Sunny. Air temp 18-22degrees. Wind- slight.

Primary Chumming Location : 70km offshore from Swansea.

Those on board: Alan Stuart, Dick Jenkin, Jim Smart, Paddy Lightfoot, Graeme O?Conner, Rob Quinan, Craig Anderson, Lucas Grenadier, Steve Roderick, Phillip Rankin, Ann Lindsay, Phil Hansbro, Richard Baxter.

SUMMARY: The conditions on this trip could only be described as amazing for winter. So far this winter has been the hottest in 50years and after today it is easy to see why. We departed Swansea at 7.10am with not a cloud in the sky and this was the way it remained all day. NSW has been dominated by a large high pressure system all week producing slight northerly winds and warm days. The result was very low numbers of the usual winter pelagic species. The weather and the water was simply to hot, as it has been all winter.

The first birds we saw were several rafts of Fluttering Shearwaters about 1-5 km offshore. As we continued east at high speed on a flat ocean we soon encountered single Black-browed and Yellow-nosed Albatross as well as several Australasian Gannets. As we crossed the shelf we slowed and began to chum producing small numbers of Fairy Prion and White-faced Storm Petrel.

We stopped at about 60km offshore and chummed for about 15min, not producing a single bird of any type. We noticed a long-line fishing trawler further east and continued out to the 70km mark where we had more success attracting the birds.

After several minutes we had one Juvenile and two adult Yellow-nosed Albatross near the boat as well as two Black-browed Albatross. Several Providence (Solanders) Petrel appeared and began to circle the boat.

After half an hour we saw the best bird of the day. A Brown Skua cruised in from the south and circled the boat before landing in the slick. This was a new bird for many on board and also the first time this bird had been recorded on a Newcastle Pelagic trip. Also at this location we saw several Fairy Prion and White-faced Storm Petrel as well as 50+ Crested Tern and we were briefly visited by a lone Hutton?s Shearwater.

After 2hrs at the 70km mark we started out trip home, with the first stop at the Continental Shelf. This stop proved more rewarding than on the way out and we immeadiately saw 7 White-faced Storm Petrel as well as Fairy Prion and both Albatross species we had previously seen earlier in the day. On the way back home in the vicinity of the outer reefs we saw our only Shy Albatross of the day sitting on the water. We slowed and moved close to allow those on board a good look. This was a new species for many on board.

The total number of all Albatross seen on the day was less than 10.


864- Yellow-nosed Albatross 5 (2)

088- Black-browed Albatross 6 (2)

091- Shy Albatross 1 (1)

971- Providence Petrel 4 (2)

083- Fairy Prion 13 (3)

065- White-faced Storm Petrel 12 (9)

068- Fluttering Shearwater 100+ (100+)

913- Hutton?s Shearwater 2 (1)

104- Australasian Gannet 30 (8)

980- Brown Skua (Southern Great Skua) 1 (1)

125- Silver Gull 200+

115- Crested Tern 50+ (40+)


Future trips: There is only one remaining Newcastle Pelagic trip for the year and it is scheduled for the 15 Sept 2001. All trips are run as non-profit outings and visitors are most welcome.

Richard Baxter

< >

Do You Yahoo!?
Make international calls for as low as $0.04/minute with Yahoo! Messenger.
<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>
  • Newcastle Pelagic 11 Aug 2001 Trip Report, richard baxter <=

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