Fw: Sydney Pelagic Trip Report - Saturday 9 July 2011

To: Birding Aus <>
Subject: Fw: Sydney Pelagic Trip Report - Saturday 9 July 2011
From: David James <>
Date: Sun, 17 Jul 2011 16:53:25 -0700 (PDT)
Sydney Pelagic Trip Report - Saturday 9 July 2011
The preceding week saw a big southerly swell and gale-force south-westerly to 
westerly winds bringing cold condition to NSW. These winds were not expected to 
bring seabirds to the NSW coast but they helped to dampen the swell. During the 
day the swell was a manageable 1-2 m S, the seas were 1-3 m W and there was a 
strong southward current. The sea state was 4-5 all day. Sea temperatures over 
the shelf-break were 18-19 degrees C. Skies were clear. The day was a little 
rough, windy and cool, with quite a bit of spray. The boat was full. 
Some of us feared the westerly winds may have pushed seabirds away from the NSW 
coast, but it was not the case. The first Australasian Gannets, Black-browed 
Albatrosses and Fluttering Shearwater of the day were encountered just outside 
Sydney Heads. We stopped off the Heads for some Black-broweds feeding on a 
cuttlefish and began berleying. Numbers of albatross quickly grew behind the 
boat and we began dragging them out to the shelf with us. We stopped a few 
kilometres offshore for Humpback Whales and then continued to the shelf break, 
berleying the whole way. Roughly 100 albatrosses followed us from inshore to 
the shelf-break, and firstly prions then Pterodromas started gathering. We 
stopped about 40 km out and south of Brown’s Mountain, at the bottom of the 
shelf break. Here we set a berley slick that set the prions in a frenzy. As the 
prions came closer a Slender-billed Prion was discovered and eventually gave 
repeated close views. Photos revealed
 there were actually two Slender-billeds. A tiny Grey-backed Storm-petrel 
appeared out the back of the prions and was eventually lured in close by the 
slick. On the way back we stopped inshore again for some breaching Humpbacks. 
Wandering Albatross (gibsoni)                3 (1)
Black-browed Albatross (melanophris)   100 (50)
Black-browed Albatross (impavida)        3 (1)
Buller’s Albatross                                    6 (3)
Shy Albatross (cauta)                              10 (5)
Yellow-nosed Albatross (bassi)               20 (10)
Southern Giant Petrel                               1
Northern Giant Petrel                               1
Fairy Prion                                               60 (40)
Slender-billed Prion                                 2
Great-winged Petrel (macroptera)           10 (5)
Great-winged Petrel (goulidi)                  1
Providence Petrel                                     8 (4)
Short-tailed Shearwater                           1
Wedge-tailed Shearwater                        1
Fluttering Shearwater                              50 (10)
Grey-backed Storm-Petrel                       1
Australasian Gannet                                50 (10)
Brown Skua                                             3 (2)
Silver Gull                                               40 (3)
Crested Tern                                            10 (5)
Humpback Whale                                   10 (6)
Photos of the days birds have been posted at:
Raja Stephenson:
Murray Lord:
The next Sydney pelagic trip will be on Saturday 13 August 2011 departing 
Mosman Ferry Wharf at 6.45am and Rose Bay Ferry Wharf at 7.00am. 
To book call Hal at 0411 311 236 or visit
Happy seabirding
David James, 


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