• 28th February 2009, SOSSA PELAGIC TRIP, WOLLONGONG, NSW, AUSTRALIA.

    Report prepared by: Lindsay Smith.

    Departed: 07:15 returned at 15:50 ED.
    Sea conditions: 1.0 Metre
    Swell South East to 1.0 to 1.5m.
    Weather: overcast in morning clearing later in the day
    Temperature range: 13 to 27.0C.
    Barometric pressure: 1008 HPa rising.
    Wind: North westerly less than 5 knots at first increasing to 15 to 18 knots by mid morning.
    Sea surface temperature: 22 to 24C.
    Primary chumming location: 34 37'S : 151 11'E.

    Summary:

    A large rain depression was situated off the Queensland coast and was moving southwards into the Tasman Sea. We were hoping that it would force some of the tropical species our way.

    The weather was pleasant. Though there were very few birds inshore. As we cleared the Wollongong Reef. We were joined by silver gulls, Crested Terns and a small party of Wedge-tailed Shearwaters. The first of the Pomarine Jaegers appeared and was soon joined by an adult Kelp Gull. Small numbers of Fluttering Shearwaters and Australasian Gannets were present. These provided brief and distant views as did the first of the Streaked Shearwaters which was seen only distantly, foraging amongst a large group of Wedge-tailed Shearwaters over the inshore reefs.

    Progressing north east into the slight swell we added in quick succession the first of the Flesh-footed Shearwaters, Long-tailed Jaegers and Grey-faced Petrels to our tally for the day.

    Although uncomfortable for some, we set up a drift-and-berley session just beyond the 200-fathom line and the difficult conditions were soon forgotten as the numbers of birds increased. Unfortunately the species tally remained low and we headed back to the inshore reefs in an effort to gain better views of the Streaked Shearwaters and Long-tailed Jaegers. Whilst heading back we were soon Joined by the first of the Artic Jaegers for the day
    Much to our disappointment the tropical species we had hoped to see did not appear.
    Ah well, thats seabirds for you.

    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)

    075 Grey-faced Petrel P. macroptera gouldi 100+ (50+)
    068 Fluttering Shearwater Puffinus gavia 7 (3)
    069 Wedge-tailed Shearwater P. pacificus 4 (3)
    070 Sooty Shearwater P.griseus 1 (1)
    853 Streaked Shearwater Calonectris leucomelas 4 (3)
    104 Australasian Gannet Morus serrator 34 (10)
    106 Australian Pelican Pelicanus conspicillatus 5 (2)
    125 Silver Gull Larus novaehollandiae 100+ (38)
    981 Kelp Gull Larus dominicanus 2 (1)
    945 Pomarine Jaeger Stercorarius pomarinus 34 (12)
    128 Arctic Jaeger Stercorarius parasiticus 4 (2)
    933 Long Tailed Jaeger Stercorarius longicaudis 23 (10)
    115 Crested Tern Sterna. bergii 20+ (7)
    334. White-throated Needletail Hirundapus caudacutus 2 (1)

    In the harbour:

    96. Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo 3
    97. Little Black Cormorant Phalacrocorax sulcirostris 6 (6)
    106 Australian Pelican Pelicanus conspicillatus 12 (10)

    Mammals:

    New Zealand Fur Seal Arctocephalus forsteri 1
    Short-beaked Common Dolphin Delphinus delphis 12 (8)

    Reptiles:

    None

    Fish:

    Striped Marlin 1
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