4th August 2001 WOLLONGONG SOSSA PELAGIC TRIP REPORT, NSW, AUSTRALIA
Report prepared by: P.J. Milburn
Departed at 7.15 am and returned at approx.4.30 pm.
Sea Conditions: Sea slight, 0.5 to 1.0 metres at first, increasing later.
Swell 1to 1.5 metre, SE.
Weather: Glorious sunshine all day. Max. 18°C
Barometeric pressure: 1025 HPa
Wind: Light in the morning 5 knots NW to moderate 15 to 20 kts NW later.
Water temperature 19.7 to 21.8 degrees C.
Primary chumming location S 34° 34' - E 151° 13'.
The extraordinary winter conditions continue. This trip resulted from the
cancellation the regular July SOSSA Wollongong Boat Trip scheduled for the
previous weekend due to near cyclonic conditions. The sea temperatures
were some 3°C above those expected for this time of year.
We departed the harbour in a light NW breeze. Just outside the harbour
were several hundred Fluttering Shearwaters. As we were cruising through
the small flocks we were joined briefly by a Northern Giant-Petrel.
Small numbers of birds attended the boat as were motored out to the shelf
break and to our suprise we encountered groups of flying fish. Unusually, a
2nd year Kelp Gull followed us to the continental break were we found group
of Pygmy Killer Whales, which added to the summery atmosphere of the trip.
In close attendance were several Solander's Petrels and a White-faced
Storm-Petrel which payed no attention to us. Not suprisingly the ovewrall
number of sub-antarctic birds was very low. As we stopped the boat to
begin chumming 2 ARTCTIC TERN in breeding plumage came by in close
investigation. The number of Solander's Petrel was high for this unusual
winter but not remarkable for a 'normal' season. The nor'westerly picked
up in the afternoon but this brought little change in the birds but instead
we were treated to the companmy of 500+ Common Dolphins of the small
acrobatic type that abound in winter. A large flock of Kelp Gulls met the
boat on the way back to the harbour. One of several banded birds was
captured, which had been banded as a chick by SOSSA (LES) in 1987 on Bass
Island, Port Kembla.
Fantastic views of Pygmy Killer Whales and 2 ARTCTIC TERN in breeding plumage.
Birds recorded according to latest Environment Australia Reporting Schedule:
Species code: Species name: Numbers:
(Note: numbers in parenthesis = highest count at any one time)
937 Northern Giant Petrel Macronectes giganteus 1
080 Cape Petrel Daption capense australe 1
971 Solander's Petrel P. solandri 55+ (25+)
083 Fairy Prion Pachyptila turtur 14 (5)
942 SLENDER-BILLED PRION P. belcheri 1 (1)
068 Fluttering Shearwater Puffinus gavia 300+ (300+)
070 Hutton's Shearwater P. huttoni 2 (1)
088 Black-browed Albatross Thalassarche melanophrys 11 (5) only two adults
859 Campbell Albatross T. impavida 2 only one adult
091 Shy Albatross T. cauta 2 (2)
864 Indic Yellow-nosed Albatross T. carteri 16 (4)
065 White-faced Storm-Petrel Pelagodroma marina 3 (1)
104 Australasian Gannet Morus serrator 12 (10)
981 Kelp Gull Larus dominicanus 30+ (30+)
125 Silver Gull L. novaehollandiae 300+ (100+)
115 Crested Tern Sterna bergii 45+ (20+)
114 White-fronted Tern S. striata 1 adult
952 ARCTIC TERN S. paradisaea 2 (2) adults in breeding plumage
In the harbour
100 Little Pied Cormorant Phalacrocorax melanoleucos 1
101 Darter Anhinga melanogaster 1
106 Australian Pelican Pelicanus conspicillatus 7
981 Kelp Gull Larus dominicanus 1 adult
115 Crested Tern Sterna bergii 3
18 species of seabird identified outside the breakwater.
Pygmy Killer Whale 12
'Pygmy' Common Dolphin 500+
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. If you would like to join one of these trips please contact us
To make a booking on the SOSSA Wollongong
Pelagics which depart on the 4th Saturday of each month contact
SOSSA: Phone 02 4271 6004.
Carl Loves Phone: 0427 423 500
Pete Milburn: Mobile 0416 249 506, 02 6255 1313 (AH) or 02 6125 4173 (BH)
To make a booking for Sydney Pelagics,
which depart on the 2nd Saturday of each month contact
Tony Palliser Ph; 02-99001678 (w), 02-94115272 (h)
To make a booking for Eden Pelagics which are run on the 5th
Sunday of each month it occurs.
Barbara Jones or Ph (02) 6495 7390
Note: SOSSA = Southern Oceans Seabird Study Association
Dr P.J. Milburn
Biomolecular Resource Facility
Australian National University
GPO Box 334
+61 2 6125 4173 'Phone
+61 2 6125 4326 FAX
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