Report prepared by: P.J. Milburn.

    Departed: 07:15 returned at 15:40.
    Sea conditions: calm at first then to 1.0 m NE by mid morning.
    Swell: east 1.5 m.
    Weather: bright sunshine with scattered cloud early.
    Temperature range: 18.1 to 23.0°C.
    Barometric pressure: 1028HPa steady.
    Wind: light and variable in the morning increasing to NE 10 to 12 kts
    Sea surface temperature: 18.7 to 24.4°C.
    Primary chumming location: S 34° 25’ – E 151° 21’.


    High-pressure systems were located over western Victoria and the Tasman Sea, resulting in a warm fine day with a northeasterly breeze. On a gentle easterly swell these were perfect conditions for pelagic bird watching. With warm blue water flowing in from the east over the continental shelf we had high hopes for an exciting day.

    Inshore Bottle-nosed and Short-beaked Common Dolphins easily outnumbered birds close inshore but we did manage to record a Little Penguin. As we cleared the reefs were encountered Wedge-tailed, Flesh-footed and Fluttering Shearwaters.

    At the 75-fathom line the sea surface temperature jumped up by 3.7°C and seabirds appeared from all quarters. The first Solander’s Petrels had returned to their breeding zone and were a magnificent sight as they soared above the shearwater hordes. Splendid Pomarine Jaegers in breeding plumage competed for attention but the appearance of a RED-FOOTED BOOBY astern, the first recorded on a Wollongong pelagic trip, easily stole the stage. The glorious cries of “stop the boat” were rewarded when the booby made several more passes at fairly close range. The whirring of camera shutters had barely resumed when a GREY TERNLET was spotted alongside.

    As often happens, when we resumed our journey eastward a calm normality returned. We were joined by a second year Campbell Albatross and an adult White-capped Albatross along with several Grey-faced Petrels. We hauled up at the 250-fathom line and began a drift-and-berley session. We were rewarded with the arrival of a couple of White-capped Albatross and several Wilson’s Storm-Petrels.

    Just as we were getting under way for the return leg a small flying object approached us from astern and, to our surprise, turned out to be a Gould’s Wattled Bat. The outstanding avian observation of our trip back to port was the sighting of a STREAKED SHEARWATER at the 80-fathom line.


    Among large numbers of summer seabirds we identified a RED-FOOTED BOOBY, a GREY TERNLET and 6 species of shearwaters including STREAKED SHEARWATER.

    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
    075 Grey-faced Petrel Pterodroma (macroptera) gouldi 7 (3)
    971 Solander’s Petrel P. solandri 8 (2)
    853 STREAKED SHEARWATER Calonectris leucomelas 1
    068 Fluttering Shearwater Puffinus gavia 5 (2)
    913 Hutton’s Shearwater P. huttoni 1
    069 Wedge-tailed Shearwater P. pacificus 375+ (150+)
    071 Short-tailed Shearwater P. tenuirostris 4 (1)
    072 Flesh-footed Shearwater P. carneipes 50+ (20+)
    859 Campbell Albatross Thalassarche impavida 1
    091 Shy Albatross T. cauta 1
    861 White-capped Albatross T. steadi 3 (2)
    063 Wilson’s Storm-Petrel Oceanites oceanicus 2 (2)
    104 Australasian Gannet Morus serrator 18 (10)
    103 RED-FOOTED BOOBY Sula sula 1 intermediate morph
    945 Pomarine Jaeger Stercorarius pomarinus 7 (3)
    981 Kelp Gull Larus dominicanus 1
    125 Silver Gull L. novaehollandiae 2 (2)
    115 Crested Tern Sterna bergii 36 (15)
    982 GREY TERNLET Procelsterna cerulea 1

    In the harbour:

    005 Little Penguin Eudyptula minor 1
    106 Australian Pelican Pelicanus conspicillatus 8 (8)
    125 Silver Gull Larus novaehollandiae 38 (38)
    115 Crested Tern Sterna bergii 1

    12 species of procellariiformes in a total of 20 species of seabird identified outside the breakwater.

    Other birds:



    Inshore Bottle-nosed Dolphin Tursiops aduncus 8 (8)
    Short-beaked Common Dolphin Delphinus delphis 50+ (50+)
    Gould’s Wattled Bat Chalinolobus gouldii 1




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