Trip report - Sunday 25th August 2013 SOSSA PELAGIC TRIP, WOLLONGONG, NS

To: Brook Whylie <>, "" <>
Subject: Trip report - Sunday 25th August 2013 SOSSA PELAGIC TRIP, WOLLONGONG, NSW, AUSTRALIA.
From: Mick Roderick <>
Date: Tue, 27 Aug 2013 15:20:20 -0700 (PDT)
Hi all,
Here is the trip report for the Sunday SOSSA trip, 25th August 2013. I did not 
keep detailed notes and do not have GPS co-ordinates so this is an 'unofficial' 
list (refer to the SOSSA website for more information when the trip report is 
posted there).
Conditions were apparently somewhat calmer today than yesterday, though a 
promising (and cold) stiff sou-wester was in our backs for the journey out. 
Black-browed and Shy-type Albatrosses accompanied us for the trip seaward, with 
flocks of loafing Fluttering Shearwaters encountered every now and then. One 
bird was identified by a few observers as a likely Hutton's. On the edge of one 
of these flocks was a Common Diving Petrel that only 2 people got onto. Small 
numbers of Fairy Prions and Wedge-tailed Shearwaters were also inshore, along 
with a single White-fronted Tern (incorrectly reported on Colin T. Richardson's 
Eremaea list as 'White-winged Tern' - Colin, if you're out there, can you 
change this??). A "shape" seen on the surface a few times and eventually almost 
directly beneath the boat was identified as a Dwarf Minke Whale. 
It wasn't until we were at or near the shelf break at about 1030 that a 
'different' albatross was seen. A "Wandering-type Albatross!" was called but it 
soon became evident that it was a Northern Royal Albatross. The bird initially 
shaped to come into the boat but banked and continued south away and out of 
sight (most people I think had reasonable to poor views). As it turned out, 
this was later shown to be the same bird seen the day before.
Some nice fresh juvenile White-capped Albatross were now circling the boat, 
with one captured and banded. A Brown Skua and a Northern Giant Petrel also 
joined the attendant albatross but there was no sign of any storm-petrel or 
Pterodroma at all (for me personally, the 5th east coast pelagic in 2013 with 
no Pterodromas). Numerous Humpback Whales kept the punters entertained.
Diversity and numbers were commented on being lower than yesterday. Then a 
fishing trawler was noticed well out to sea, headed for port. We changed 
position (not necessarily towards the trawler either) and within minutes a 
steady stream of albatross were headed for the Sandra K and there were soon 
40-odd albatross sitting on the water, with others still circling. Amongst 
these were several Wandering-type Albatross, the first for the day (at around 
midday). These consisted of mostly D. exulans birds, with a few D. antipodensis 
gibsoni amongst them. One magnificent adult exulans was caught, measured and 
The trip back to port was largely uneventful apart from a second Common Diving 
Petrel, a second White-fronted Tern and more flocks of Fluttering Shearwaters. 
Vain attempts were made to capture the Brown Skua which was now faithful to the 
Looking at the the list/count from Saturday, it appeared that today saw larger 
numbers of albatross (perhaps owing to the trawler) but much lower diversity.
Mick Roderick
Species sighted:
086 Wandering Albatross 12; at least 1 banded
846 Antipodean Albatross _gibsoni _4
973 Northern Royal Albatross 1
088 Black-browed Albatross 30+ (no Campbell seen); at least 1 banded
091 Shy Albatross _cauta _20+ (identification made on moult patterns)
861 Shy Albatross _steadi_ 4 juv; 1 banded
864 Indian Yellow-nosed Albatross 3
937 Northern Giant Petrel 1
083 Fairy Prion 50+
069 Wedge-tailed Shearwater 15+
068 Fluttering Shearwater 500+
913 Hutton's Shearwater 1 (maybe others overlooked?)
085 Common Diving Petrel 2
104 Australasian Gannet 5+ (incl 1 juv)
125 Silver Gull many
980 Brown Skua 1
981 Kelp Gull 2 adults 
115 Greater Crested Tern 10+
114 White-fronted Tern 2
131 Sooty Oystercatcher ('Red-billed Black Petrel') 1

Short-beaked Common Dolphin 5+
Humpback Whale 25+
Dwarf Minke Whale 1
Fur Seal 5

From: Brook Whylie <>
Sent: Tuesday, 27 August 2013 7:44 AM
Subject: Trip report - Saturday 24th August 2013 SOSSA PELAGIC  TRIP, 

    Highlight of the SOSSA trip Saturday 24th August was a sighting of a
Northern Royal Albatross, the first seen off Wollongong since July
2011. Unfortunately, it was only seen by a few. Those that did the
Sunday trip were more fortunate, as what is believed to be the same
bird, was sighted again, although they were distant views. 

    Saturdays trip was as follows. 

    Leaving at 07:10 hrs, we travelled out to 34° 37' 39" S; 151° 16'
54" E (WGS 84), 41 km SE of Wollongong harbour in 300m+ pelagic
waters, where we stopped and drifted 1.95 km NNE, 11:12-12:15 hrs,
catching 1 Wandering and 2 Antipodean (Gibson's) Albatrosses, 1
Buller's Albatross and 2 Southern Giant-Petrels, then turned back in,
stopping at 34° 29' 00" S; 151° 02' 02" E, 13.6 km ESE of the
harbour in 90m+ shelf waters, where we stopped and drifted 400m N,
14:35-14:55 hrs, catching 1 Shy Albatross, before continuing on back
to the harbour, arriving at 16:00. Seas lumpy on the way out, calming
as the wind eased in the afternoon. Water temperature 15.4° inshore
when we left; 18.5° in pelagic waters.

Species sighted 

    086 Wandering Albatross 2; 1 banded
Wandering Albatross type 6+
846 Antipodean Albatross _gibsoni _2 banded
973 Northern Royal Albatross 1
088 Black-browed Albatross 7 adults including 1 with darvic band (F49)
from Kerguelen Islands? plus 1 immature with darvic band (856) from
Macquarie Island?
859 Campbell Albatross 1 adult
091 Shy Albatross _cauta _10+
861 Shy Albatross _steadi_ 1 adult and probably 2 immatures
864 Indian Yellow-nosed Albatross 2
961 Buller's Albatross _bulleri_ 2
929 Southern Giant Petrel 2; both banded
083 Fairy Prion 20+
075 Great-winged Petrel _macroptera_ 1
971 Providence (Solander's) Petrel 1+
069 Wedge-tailed Shearwater 15+
071 Short-tailed Shearwater 1
068 Fluttering Shearwater 20+
065 White-faced Storm Petrel 1
085 Common Diving Petrel 1
104 Australasian Gannet 3+ adults
106 Australian Pelican 3
125 Silver Gull many
981 Kelp Gull 6 adults & immatures
115 Greater Crested Tern 4
114 White-fronted Tern 7 

    Thanks to Graham Barwell for the report. 


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:

departs on the 4TH SATURDAY of each month. Contact: SOSSA: PHONE 02
4272 4626 




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