From: Peter Milburn <>
Date: Wed, 3 Jan 2007 08:41:28 +1100

Report prepared by: P.J. Milburn.

Departed: 07:15 returned at 16:00.
Sea conditions: calm at first rising to 1.0 metre NE in the afternoon.
Swell: negligible.
Weather: patchy light cloud early but clearing to
bright sunshine for the rest of the day.
Temperature range: 19.3 to 27.3°C.
Barometric pressure: 1018 HPa.
Wind: NE to 5 to 8 knots during the morning
rising to15 knots in the afternoon.
Sea surface temperature: 19.1 to 20.9°C.
Primary chumming location: S 34° 27' - E 151° 28'.


A high-pressure system was located just off the
New South Wales coast in the Tasman Sea.  At
first light, conditions were calm with a little
sea mist and high patchy cloud.  This soon burned
off and we found ourselves cruising eastwards on
a clam sea enjoying a glorious clear summer
morning.  The threat of the day becoming
uncomfortably hot was countered by pleasant
afternoon sea breezes from the northeast.

Wedge-tailed, Fluttering and even Flesh-footed
Shearwaters were just outside the breakwater.  We
were very surprised to watch two Gibson's
Albatross home in on us on such a beautiful
summer morning.  A little farther offshore we
encountered the first Short-tailed and Hutton's
Shearwaters for the day.

We had to wait until we were outside Wollongong
Reef before an Arctic and several Pomarine
Jaegers appeared and with them were mobs of
Wedge-tailed Shearwaters.  At the
sixty-five-fathom line we passed close by to a
huge Short-tailed Sunfish and ran into flocks of
Short-tailed Shearwaters heading south.  As we
reached deeper water, we encountered further
activity: a pod of Short-beaked Common Dolphins,
a second year Black-browed and an adult SHY

Well beyond the edge of the continental shelf we
encountered the first of the Great-winged Petrels
and an adult SOOTY TERN to add to our daily
tally.  It really was a sleepy day in pelagic
waters and when we eventually did set up a
drift-and-berley session at the 600-fathom line
we only attracted a few Wilson's Storm-Petrels
and several Gibson's Albatross.  The Great-winged
Petrels and the assortment of shearwater species
present responded by settling on the water
several hundred metres away and going to sleep!

Even the trip back to port failed to produce much
excitement in contrast to recent experience.  A
Brown Skua was an unexpected sighting because
this species has normally departed from these
waters by the end of October.

Birds recorded according to the latest
Environment Australia Reporting Schedule:

Species code:                   Species name:           Numbers:

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

073 Great-winged Petrel Pterodroma macroptera gouldi 10 (4)
068 Fluttering Shearwater Puffinus gavia 67 (25)
913 Hutton's Shearwater P. huttoni 2 (1)
069 Wedge-tailed Shearwater P. pacificus 395+ (150+)
071 Short-tailed Shearwater P. tenuirostris 435+ (150+)
072 Flesh-footed Shearwater P. carneipes 3 (1)
847 Gibson's Albatross Diomedea gibsoni 6 (3)
088 Black-browed Albatross Thalassarche melanophrys 1
859 Campbell Albatross T. impavida 1
091 SHY ALBATROSS T. cauta 1
063 Wilson's Storm-Petrel Oceanites oceanicus 4 (3)
104 Australasian Gannet Morus serrator 5 (2)
106 Australian Pelican Pelicanus conspicillatus 1
128 Arctic Jaeger Stercorarius parasiticus 2 (1)
945 Pomarine Jaeger S. pomarinus 13 (4)
980 Brown Skua Catharacta lonnbergi 1
981 Kelp Gull Larus dominicanus 2 (1)
125 Silver Gull L. novaehollandiae 43 (20)
115 Crested Tern Sterna bergii 13 (3)
120 SOOTY TERN S. fuscata 1

In the harbour:

096 Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo 4 (4)
097 Little Black Cormorant P. sulcirostris 1
099 Pied Cormorant P. varius 1
100 Little Pied Cormorant P. melanoleucos 1
101 Australian Darter Anhinga melanogaster 2 (1)
106 Australian Pelican Pelicanus conspicillatus 8 (8)
115 Crested Tern Sterna bergii 1

20 species of seabird identified outside the breakwater.

Other birds

131 Sooty Oystercatcher Haematopus fuliginosus 1


Short-beaked Common Dolphin Delphinus delphis 16 (16)




Short Sunfish Mola ramsayi 2 (1)

For previous trip reports and selected images from this trip visit

Future Trips

All Pelagic Trips from NSW are operated at no
profit to the organizers, 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 detailed below:

To make a booking on the SOSSA Wollongong Pelagic
Trips that departs 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 Pelagic Trip that
departs from Rose Bay public jetty on the 2nd
Saturday of each month contact

Tony Palliser Ph; 02-99001678 (w), 02-94115272  (h)

To make a booking for Eden Pelagic Trips, which
are run on the 5th Sunday of each month as it
occurs, contact

Barbara Jones or Ph (02) 6495 7390

Note:  SOSSA = Southern Oceans Seabird Study Association

Dr P.J. Milburn
Technical Specialist
ANU ACRF Biomolecular Resource Facility
John Curtin School of Medical Research
Australian National University
GPO Box 334
Canberra ACT 0200
'Phone +61 2 6125 4326
FAX      +61 2 6125 9533

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