Report prepared by: P.J. Milburn.

    Departed: 07:25 returned at approx. 16:30 .
    Sea conditions: calm at first to 0.5m NE by late morning.
    Swell: less than 0.5m ESE all day.
    Weather: Brilliant late autumn sunshine all day.
    Temperature range: 15.1 to 22.6°C.
    Barometric pressure: 1022 HPa increasing.
    Wind: NE breeze to 5 knots at first increasing 7 to 10 knots later and easing to 5 knots NNE in the afternoon. Sea surface temperature: 20.6 to 23.0°C.
    Primary chumming location: S 34° 24’ – E 151° 22’.


    A slow-moving anticyclone was located over southeastern Australia creating very stable conditions and gentle northeasterly breezes. The sea surface temperature continues to be much warmer than expected for the time of year.

    We slipped out of the harbour onto a slick ocean that mirrored the cloudless blue sky perfectly. Several Australasian Gannets, a Fluttering Shearwater, a Crested Tern and a handful of Silver Gulls were all we saw for the first hour! As we left the inshore reefs behind the first of several adult Indic Yellow-nosed Albatross appeared.

    The first of the Solander’s Petrels were well inside the edge of the continental shelf and, at the 80-fathom line, a lone Sooty Shearwater was a welcome addition to species diversity! Several Black-browed Albatross joined us as we headed east and we picked up a single Short-tailed Shearwater at the edge of the continental shelf.

    Continuing eastwards into deeper water an adult Campbell Albatross passed close by the stern but continued on its way. A drift-and-berley session failed to produce any additional species but the SOSSA banding team recaptured a Black-browed Albatross banded originally as an adult at Wollongong in September 1994. Unusually, we attracted a large flock of Silver Gulls that were enjoying the tranquil conditions and foraging much further out to sea than is usual.

    The return leg of our voyage produced sightings of 2 more Fluttering Shearwaters and we were followed back to port from well offshore by a small group of Kelp Gulls.

    This was a very pleasant day on the ocean but numbers and species diversity were low.

    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)

    971 Solander’s (Providence) Petrel Pterodroma solandri 21 (8)
    068 Fluttering Shearwater Puffinus gavia 3 (1)
    070 Sooty Shearwater P. griseus 1
    071 Short-tailed Shearwater P. tenuirostris 1
    088 Black-browed Albatross Thalassarche melanophrys 10 (4)
    859 Campbell Albatross T. impavida 1
    864 Indian Yellow-nosed Albatross T.carteri 36 (15)
    104 Australasian Gannet Morus serrator 20 (9)
    981 Kelp Gull Larus dominicanus 7 (6)
    125 Silver Gull L. novaehollandiae 550+ (200+)
    115 Crested Tern Sterna bergii 25 (7)

    In the harbour:

    097 Little Black Cormorant Phalacrocorax sulcirostris 2 (2)
    100 Little Pied Cormorant P. melanoleucos 1
    106 Australian Pelican Pelicanus conspicillatus 6 (6)
    115 Crested Tern Sterna bergii 4 (2)

    11 species of seabird identified outside the breakwater.

    Other birds:







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