12th September 2009, SOSSA PELAGIC TRIP, WOLLONGONG, NSW, AUSTRALIA.
Report prepared by: P.J. Milburn.
Departed: 07:05 returned at 16:30.
Sea conditions: calm at first then NNE to 1.0m.
Swell: SE to 1.0 to 1.5m.
Weather: warm and sunny but with smoke haze.
Temperature range: 14.3 to 20.9°C.
Barometric pressure: 1021 HPa falling.
Wind: SW 5 to 8 knots at first backing to NNE 10 knots in the afternoon.
Sea surface temperature: 16.4 to 20.1°C.
Primary chumming location: 34° 23'S : 151° 21'E.
A high-pressure system centered to our north over
Cape Byron created mild and stable conditions for
the duration of the trip, with a north
northeasterly breeze developing in the afternoon.
Inshore, the water remained cold and dirty
looking and the Giant Cuttlefish (Sepia aparma)
were still at the surface over Wollongong Reef.
Consequently, there were albatross and Fur-Seals
in evidence. Highlights were a female WANDERING
and ANTIPODEAN ALBATROSS. Several groups of
Little Penguin were also recorded.
Beyond Wollongong Reef, were the first
White-fronted Terns of the day and hundreds of
shearwaters. These were mainly Fluttering
Shearwaters with smaller numbers of Hutton's and
Wedge-tailed Shearwaters and a bonus LITTLE
SHEARWATER as a reward for careful scrutiny. On
our cruise out to deeper water we encountered
Campbell, Indic Yellow-nosed, Shy and
White-capped Albatross before we reached the edge
of the continental shelf. Additionally, we had
enjoyed good views of both New Zealand Cape
Petrel and Brown Skua.
At the 100-fathom line were SOLANDER'S PETRELS
and Humpback Whales. We stopped to set up a
drift-and-berley session at the 150-fathom line
in hope of attracting some storm-petrels. We did
recruit a NORTHERN GIANT-PETREL to our attendant
flock but nothing else.
Our cruise back to Wollongong featured more
sightings of Humpback Whales, more giant-petrels
and lots more shearwaters.
Both NORTHERN and SOUTHERN GIANT-PETREL, 8
species of albatross and a LITTLE SHEARWATER
among the hordes of thousands of shearwaters.
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)
005 Little Penguin Eudyptula minor 8 (5)
929 SOUTHERN GIANT-PETREL Macronectes giganteus 1
937 NORTHERN GIANT-PETREL M. halli 5 (3)
080 New Zealand Cape Petrel Daption capense australe 3 (2)
971 Solander's Petrel Pterodroma solandri 2 (1)
067 LITTLE SHEARWATER Puffinus a. assimilis 1
068 Fluttering Shearwater P. gavia 4500+ (3500+)
913 Hutton's Shearwater P. huttoni 175+ (150+)
069 Wedge-tailed Shearwater P. pacificus 450+ (300+)
086 WANDERING ALBATROSS Diomedea exulans 1
846 ANTIPODEAN ALBATROSS D. antipodensis 1
847 Gibson's Albatross D. gibsoni 4 (2)
088 Black-browed Albatross Thalassarche melanophrys 6 (3)
859 Campbell Albatross T. impavida 3 (1)
091 Shy Albatross T. cauta 8 (3)
861 White-capped Albatross T. steadi 3 (2)
089 Indic Yellow-nosed Albatross T. carteri 4 (3)
104 Australasian Gannet Morus serrator 103 (53)
096 Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo 2 (2)
106 Australian Pelican Pelicanus conspicillatus 2 (1)
980 Brown Skua Catharacta lonnbergi 3 (2)
981 Kelp Gull Larus dominicanus 3 (2)
125 Silver Gull L. novaehollandiae 58 (34)
114 White-fronted Tern Sterna striata 9 (5)
115 Crested Tern S. bergii 68 (36)
In the harbour:
097 Little Black Cormorant Phalacrocorax sulcirostris 12 (11)
106 Australian Pelican Pelicanus conspicillatus 7 (7)
16 species of procellariiformes in a total of 25
species of seabird identified outside the
131 Sooty Oystercatcher Haematopus fuliginosus 9 (7)
Humpback Whale Megaptera novaeangliae 12 (3) and many more in the distance!
Unidentified Fur Seal Arctocephalus sp. 5 (1)
For previous trip reports and selected images from this trip visit
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
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)
Note: SOSSA = Southern Oceans Seabird Study Association
Dr P.J Milburn
Australian Cancer Research Foundation 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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