Report prepared by: P.J. Milburn.

    Departed: 07:15 returned at 16:00.
    Sea conditions: NW to 0.5m at first rising to SE 2.0m in the afternoon.
    Swell: NE 1.0 to 1.5m prior to the southerly change.
    Weather: Cloudy at first but clearing around midday.
    Temperature range: 14.9 to 18.4°C.
    Barometric pressure: 1016 HPa rising.
    Wind: northwesterly to 10 knots at first backing to the south and rising to 20 knots at midday.
    Sea surface temperature: 17.8 to 19.6°C.
    Primary chumming location: 34° 41’S : 151° 10’E.


    A slow moving high-pressure system was located in the northern Tasman Sea and a fast-moving cold front passed through the region late in the morning ahead of a weak trough. These features combined to produce cloudy conditions with offshore winds during the morning and clear skies following a southerly change at midday. Large numbers of seabirds were inshore, many of which followed us out to the edge of the continental slope. The cold front brought further species and greater numbers that gave us an entertaining trip back to port.

    Giant Petrels, Fairy Prions and Black-browed Albatross were foraging close inshore. Large numbers of seabirds were feeding outside Wollongong Reef including several Gibson’s Albatross. A single Hutton’s was spotted amongst hundreds of Fluttering Shearwater.

    The large flock of seabirds that followed us out to sea attracted several Brown Skuas. As we approached the edge of the continental shelf we recruited more albatross in ever increasing numbers. A stunning adult SALVIN’S ALBATROSS circled us so we hove to and set up a drift-and-berley session. We attracted a modest flock of Fairy Prions, a solitary SOLANDER’S PETREL and, of course, lots more albatross!

    The southerly change arrived as we started the motor for the trip back to the harbour. Among the arrivals in its wake were a New Zealand Cape Petrel, several adult BULLER’S and 2 juvenile SALVIN’S ALBATROSS.


    A pleasant winter day that was dominated by numerous albatross; 10 species were recorded in all that included WANDERING, ANTIPODEAN, BULLER’S, and SALVIN’S ALBATROSS.

    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 1
    929 SOUTHERN GIANT-PETREL Macronectes giganteus 2 (1)
    937 NORTHERN GIANT-PETREL M. halli 5 (2)
    080 New Zealand Cape Petrel Daption capense australe 1
    971 SOLANDER’S PETREL Pterodroma solandri 1
    083 Fairy Prion Pachyptila turtur 280+ (50+)
    068 Fluttering Shearwater Puffinus gavia 2000+ (1500+)
    913 Hutton’s Shearwater P. huttoni (2) 1
    086 WANDERING ALBATROSS Diomedea exulans 5 (3)
    846 ANTIPODEAN ALBATROSS D. antipodensis 1
    847 Gibson’s Albatross D. gibsoni 14 (8)
    088 Black-browed Albatross Thalassarche melanophrys 57 (42)
    859 Campbell Albatross T. impavida 14 (8)
    931 BULLER’S ALBATROSS T. bulleri 3 (1)
    091 Shy Albatross T. cauta 24 (15)
    861 White-capped Albatross T. steadi 5 (3)
    862 SALVIN’S ALBATROSS T. salvini 3 (2)
    089 Indic Yellow-nosed Albatross T. carteri 41 (25)
    104 Australasian Gannet Morus serrator 14 (5)
    106 Australian Pelican Pelicanus conspicillatus 1
    980 Brown Skua Catharacta lonnbergi 10 (5)
    981 Kelp Gull Larus dominicanus 4 (4)
    125 Silver Gull L. novaehollandiae 67 (36)
    115 Crested Tern Sterna bergii 13 (7)

    In the harbour:

    100 Little Pied Cormorant Phalacrocorax melanoleucos 1
    106 Australian Pelican Pelicanus conspicillatus 2 (2)
    981 Kelp Gull Larus dominicanus 1 adult
    115 Crested Tern Sterna bergii 1

    17 species of procellariiformes in a total of 24 species of seabird identified outside the breakwater.

    Other birds:



    New Zealand Fur Seal Arctocephalus forsteri 1




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