Wollongong Pelagic Report - 26.01.02

Subject: Wollongong Pelagic Report - 26.01.02
From: Rod Gardner <>
Date: Tue, 29 Jan 2002 11:08:12 +1000

Report prepared by: Rod Gardner
Pleasant, warm conditions, with not too much swell. Light winds all

An above-average trip for the time of year, with a fair variety of birds.
The two avian highlights came early in the day: a TAHITI PETREL which unfortunately did not approach the boat closely, so was missed by some on board, and a BROWN BOOBY which did pass very close, but did not hang around. Equally exciting for many was a big pod (or perhaps two pods that had joined) of Pygmy Killer Whales, estimated at about 30 individuals. This is a cetacean which, according to the new Mammals guide by Menkhorst and Knight, is well south of its range in Wollongong waters, and is described as 'little known and rarely seen'. There have been a number of sightings of this species recently off Wollongong. Also notable on the trip was the high number of Pomarine Jaegers: the fifty estimated below is very conservative, and there may have been up to five times as many (all estimates of numbers in this list should be seen as minima). The number of Arctic Jaegers, on the other hand, is extremely low. Coastal seawatchers have been reporting very low Arctic Jaeger numbers this year. Pete Milburn: if you see fit to revise some of these numbers upwards, please do!

A full list of species seen:

005 Little Penguin Eudyptula minor 4
075 Great-winged Petrel Pterodroma macroptera 15
920 Tahiti Petrel Pseudobulweria rostrata 1
068 Fluttering Shearwater Puffinus gavia 7
913 Hutton's Shearwater P. huttoni 1
069 Wedge-tailed Shearwater P. pacificus 300
070 Sooty Shearwater P. griseus 2
071 Short-tailed Shearwater P. tenuirostris 4
072 Flesh-footed Shearwater P. carneipes 40
063 Wilson's Storm Petrel Oceanites oceanicus 1
106 Australasian Pelican Pelecanus conspicillatus 2
104 Brown Booby Sula leucogaster 1
128 Arctic Jaeger Stercorarius parasiticus 2
945 Pomarine Jaeger S. pomarinus 50
981 Kelp Gull Larus dominicanus 4
125 Silver Gull  L. novaehollandiae 80
115 Crested Tern Sterna bergii 9

In the harbour

100 Little Pied Cormorant  Phalacrocorax melanoleucos 2 (2)
100 Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo 1

17 species of seabird identified outside the breakwater.

Pygmy Killer Whale Feresa attenuataca 30
Common Dolphin Delphinus delphis several pods
Bottle-nosed Dolphin Tursiops truncatus a small pod well inshore
Also distant views of possible Risso's Dolphin

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