Wollongong NSW SOSSA Pelagic Research Trip Report 11th August 2001

To: Birding-aus <>
Subject: Wollongong NSW SOSSA Pelagic Research Trip Report 11th August 2001
From: Peter Milburn <>
Date: Thu, 23 Aug 2001 17:14:03 +1000

Report prepared by: P.J. Milburn
Departed at 7.30 am and returned at approx.4.30 pm.
Sea Conditions: calm at first, increasing later to slight.  Swell to 1
metre, SE.
Weather: Glorious sunshine all day.  Max. 21°C
Barometeric pressure: 1023 HPa rising
Wind: Calm  to 10 kts NW later.
Water temperature 18.4 to 21.0 degrees C.
Primary chumming location S 34° 29' - E 151° 19'.


Another summer day in winter, although the sea temperatures had fallen over
the previous week.  Calm weather with no fronts in the offing led us to
expect a lovely day for cruising but not many seabirds.  A disappointing
day for the number of species and individuals, however, one outstanding
rarity was recorded.  CORY'S SHEARWATER has not been recorded previously on
a Pelagic Trip from Wollongong.

We departed the harbour to find ourselves on a glass smooth ocean.  At
least it would be a goood day for sighting fish, cetaceans etc.  We easily
saw a couple of Little Pengiun and a number of seals basking on the
surface.  Further out we encountered a small Striped Marlin and small
numbers of albatross and shearwaters.  In 80 fathoms we were joined by
Common Dolphins in crystal clear water.  In the bright sunlight with a
glass smooth ocean this was a memorable experience!

Small numbers of birds attended the boat as we sat motionless far beyond
the continental shelf break.  After 2 hours a sperm whale was spotted in
the distance causing everyone to move to the front of the boat.
Unfortunately,the whale sounded soon after and as we set off for port a
CORY'S SHEARWATER passed across the stern of the boat.  The bird typically
stayed close to the surface but gave a brilliant view of the underwing
pattern as it rode over a small swell.  Sadly, the bird did not tarry and
was seen by very few people as most on board were still looking for
whales.... sometimes it pays to be the one throwing in the chum!


Stunning views of Common Dolphins and CORY'S SHEARWATER within 50m of the boat.

Birds recorded according to latest Environment Australia Reporting Schedule:

Species code:   Species name:   Numbers:

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

005 Little Penguin Eudyptula minor 2 (2)
079 Giant Petrel  Macronectes sp 1
971 Solander's Petrel P. solandri 3 (3)
083 Fairy Prion Pachyptila turtur 10 6)
068 Fluttering Shearwater Puffinus gavia 19 (9)
070 Hutton's Shearwater P. huttoni 3 (2)
000 CORY'S SHEARWATER Calonectris diomedea 1
088 Black-browed Albatross Thalassarche melanophrys 11 (5)
859 Campbell Albatross T. impavida 1
864 Indic Yellow-nosed Albatross T. carteri 11 (3)
980 Brown Skua Catharacta lonnbergi 1 (1)
104 Australasian Gannet Morus serrator 5 (2)
981 Kelp Gull Larus dominicanus 7 (7)
125 Silver Gull  L. novaehollandiae 85+ (45+)
115 Crested Tern Sterna bergii 41 (26)
114 White-fronted Tern S. striata 3 (2)

In the harbour

115 Crested Tern Sterna bergii 1
100 Little Pied Cormorant Phalacrocorax melanoleucos 2
106 Australian Pelican Pelicanus conspicillatus 3

15 species of seabird identified outside the breakwater.


Australain Fur Seal 8 (5)
Sperm Whale 1
Common Dolphin 10

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.  If you would like to join one of these trips please contact us
as below:

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
ACT 0200

+61 2 6125 4173 'Phone
+61 2 6125 4326 FAX

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