• 22nd April 2000, SOSSA PELAGIC TRIP, WOLLONGONG, NSW, AUSTRALIA.

    Report prepared by P.J. Milburn

    Conditions:

    Departed at 07:10 am and returned at approx.14:45 pm.
    Sea Conditions: Initially, sea 1 to 2 m on a 2 m se swell. Later, sea 2 to
    2.5m on a 2 to 4m southerly swell.
    Weather: Mostly sunny. Air temperature 15 to 23 C.
    Wind: Southerly 15 kts, rising to 20 kts later
    Water temperature: 18.0 to 23.5 degrees C.
    Primary chumming location: conditions too rough!

    Summary:

    Hopes for another summer day at sea looking at some nice tropical species were dashed by a stiff southerly. A couple of miles out to sea we were greeted by an exquisite juvenile White-fronted Tern which looked as though it had just left the nest in NZ. Another individual, a little later, confirmed that this was not going to be a summer trip. The first of the Albatross appeared... a stunning adult Campbell Albatross which took my breath away as it glowed in the early morning sun.

    It was hard going punching into the southerly and seasickness was beginning to set in. With a squadron of Black-browed and Campbell Albatross following and loving the windy conditions it could have been mid-winter. Leaden clouds building up in the south didn't look too encouraging....The water felt incredibly warm as it ran down my neck reminding me that it was only April. Many of the the Jeagers were in fine plumage with the onset of breeding only a few weeks and thousands of kilometres away. Suprising numbers of shearwaters remained in the area which were joined by Petrels as we slowly worked our way out into deeper water.

    Attempts to berley birds to the boat at the 100 FM line were unsuccessful. Turning for home and running with the sea we were joined almost immediately by a glorious adult BULLER'S ALBATROSS. This bird followed the boat for about 30 minutes giving great views. An adult shy albatross investigated us briefly as we surfed back to Wollongong.

    Birds recorded:Species code: Species name: Numbers: (Note: numbers in parenthesis = highest count at any one time)

    864 Indic Yellow-nosed Albatross Thalassarche carteri 1 adult
    091 Shy Albatross T. cauta 1 adult
    088 Black-browed Albatross T. melanophrys 2 (2) both adults
    859 Campbell Albatross T. impavida 6 (6) 4 adults
    931 BULLER'S ALBATROSS Thalassarche bulleri 1 adult
    073 Great-winged Petrel Pterodroma macroptera gouldi 12 (6)
    971 Solander's Petrel P. solandri 30 (20)
    068 Fluttering Shearwater Puffinus. gavia 4 (1)
    913 Hutton's Shearwater P. huttoni 2 (1)
    069 Wedge-tailed shearwater P. pacificus 200+ (100+)
    070 Sooty Shearwater P. griseus 2 (1)
    071 Slender-billed Shearwater P. tenuirostris 10 (4)
    072 Flesh-footed Shearwater P. carneipes 100 (60)
    104 Australasian Gannet Morus serrator 3 (1)
    981 Kelp Gull Larus dominicanus 5 (5)
    125 Silver Gull L. novaehollandiae 20+ (20+)
    128 Arctic Jaeger Stercorarius parasiticus 5 (2)
    945 Pomarine Jaeger S. pomarinus 12 (6)
    114 White-fronted Tern Sterna striata 2 (1) juveniles
    115 Crested Tern Sterna bergii 10 (3)

    20 species of seabird identified outside the breakwater.

    In the harbour:

    096 Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo 2
    106 Australian Pelican Pelicanus conspicillatus 5

    Mammals:

    None recorded.
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