27/10/01 Wollongong NSW SOSSA Pelagic Trip Report

To: Birding-aus <>
Subject: 27/10/01 Wollongong NSW SOSSA Pelagic Trip Report
From: Peter Milburn <>
Date: Mon, 12 Nov 2001 17:06:12 +1100

Report prepared by: P.J. Milburn.

Departed: 08:15 returned at approx. 16:00.
Sea conditions:calm at first and to 1.0m SSW late in the afternoon.
Swell: <0.2 SE.
Weather: Mostly sunny with cloudy periods, 17.0 to 22.2°C.
Barometric pressure: 1006 steady.
Wind: Westerly 10 to 15kts veering south during the day, occasionally  20kts.
Sea surface temperature: 19.0 to 19.9°C.
Primary chumming location: S 34° 40' - E 151° 16'.


An atypical spring day with gentle seas but southwest to southerly winds.
October is usually the most exciting month at sea in these waters but the
day began with westerly winds, warm water inshore and later we found little
water movement at the continental shelf break.  At least the lack of
currents against the southerly  kept the sea relatively calm!

Just outside Wollongong Harbour we encountered a female Southern Humpback
Whale with a calf.  As we drifted nearby the calf was obviously curious and
entertained us with its frequent spy hopping. The trip out to the shelf
break through flocks of shearwaters was fairly uneventful with a couple
mure humback Whales and Common Dolphins being sighted.

In the deep waters over the Continental Slope proceedings remianed quiet.
Several Solander's Petrel were present, including some stunning fresh
plumaged juveniles.

Overall, one of the quietest October trips that I remember with just local
summer species recorded.

On the return trip we were greeted by a White-bellied Sea Eagle well
outside the harbour...... are they real seabirds?


Fresh plumaged juvenile Solander's Petrels and a baby Humpback Whale spy

Birds recorded according to the latest Environment Australia Reporting

Species code:                   Species name:           Numbers:

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

971 Solander's Petrel Pterodroma solandri 5 (2)
068 Fluttering Shearwater Puffinus gavia 14 (4)
917 Hutton's Shearwater P. huttoni 2 (1)
069 Wedge-tailed Shearwater P. pacificus 450+ (300+)
070 Sooty Shearwater P. griseus 6 (2)
071 Short-tailed Shearwater P.  tenuirostris 75+ (50+)
072 Flesh-footed Shearwater P. carneipes 9 (5)
104 Australasian Gannet Morus serrator 2 (1)
106 Australian Pelican Pelicanus conspicillatus 2 (2)
128 Arctic Jaeger Stercorarius parasiticus 4 (2)
945 Pomarine Jaeger S. pomarinus 11 (5)
981 Kelp Gull Larus dominicanus 26 (26)
125 Silver Gull L. novaehollandiae 400+ (350+)
115 Crested Tern Sterna bergii  30+ (12)

In the harbour:

096 Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo 1

14 species of seabird identified outside the breakwater.


Australian Fur Seal 1
Common Dolphin 6
Southern Humpback Whale 4

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 0428 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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