Newcastle, NSW, Australia Pelagic Trip Report 16th Aug 03

Subject: Newcastle, NSW, Australia Pelagic Trip Report 16th Aug 03
From: richard baxter <>
Date: Mon, 18 Aug 2003 04:32:18 -0700 (PDT)
Newcastle, NSW, Australia, Pelagic Report SATURDAY 16 August 2003.

Conditions: Fine and sunny

Departed 6.10am ? Returned 3.50pm.

Seas ? 1m

Winds ? slight. S/E in morning turning to N/W in afternoon.

Those on board: Mick Todd, Steve Roderick, Karen Pearson, Rob Quinan, Jim Smart, Graeme O?Conner, Corey Hughes, John Cockerall, Damian Baxter, Kate Splittgerber, Rohan Clarke, Phil Hansbro and Richard Baxter.

Trip Summary: We departed Swansea about 6.10am and headed east in fairly flat seas. Not long after leaving the heads we encounted our first Hutton?s Shearwaters and several Australasian Gannets. On our three hour journey out to deep water we saw 2-3 Yellow-nosed Albatross, Crested Terns, several Fairy Prions and four Common Dolphins. We soon crossed the shelf and immediately encounted Providence Petrel and Black-browed Albatross.

We slowed our progress and began to chum as we continued east for another hour. Cape Petrel, Shy Albatross and Great-winged Petrel were all seen, as was White-faced Storm Petrel. We stopped and within minutes the call went out BULLER?S ALBATROSS. For the next hour a adult Buller?s circled the boat at times coming within 10m. It was not long and the first Wandering Albatross appeared and throughout the day the number grew to ten. White-headed Petrel numbers also grew to around four birds with these also coming very close to the boat.

All those with cameras were focused on the circling Buller?s Albatross and failed to notice a WHITE-CHINNED PETREL fly in and land on the slick 30m from the boat. It soon alighted from the slick and joined the Buller?s circling the boat allowing some great photo opportunities. Over the next two hours no further bird species arrived but we were visited by a MINKE WHALE which surfaced within 1 metre of the boat, lifting it?s head out of the water to have a good look at us before departing.

As we were preparing to leave I noticed a trawler on the horizon, so we pulled up stumps and we soon began to make our way towards it. It wasn?t long until we could make out a large flock of birds at the back of the trawler with around twenty Crested Terns coming across to our boat from the trawler.

Upon arrival we found another Buller?s Albatross and an early Wedge-tailed Shearwater. Apart from these two birds, the birds around the trawler were of the same species we had seen earlier.

Birds seen:

086 Wandering Albatross 10 (2 exulans, 8gibsoni)

  1. Black-browed Albatross 10 (2 impavida)


091 Shy Albatross 4

000 Indian Yellow-nosed Albatross 15

984 Cape Petrel 20

77 White-headed Petrel 6

75 Great-winged Petrel 10

  1. Providence Petrel 50


65 White-faced Storm Petrel 50

69 Wedge-tailed Shearwater 1

913 Hutton?s Shearwater 20

115 Crested Tern 40

  1. Silver Gull 000?s
  1. Australasian Gannet 20


4 Common Dolphin

Newcastle Pelagic trips are conducted as non-profit outings.



Richard Baxter

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