Report prepared by: P.J. Milburn.

    Photography: Salvin's albatross (B. Whylie), Common tern (B. Whylie), Brown skua (B. Whylie), White-capped albatross (B. Whylie).

    Departed: 07:15 returned at approx. 12:30.
    Sea conditions: SSE seas at 3.0 to 4.0m offshore.
    Swell: SE to 1.0 to 2.5m.
    Weather: Overcast at first, clearing to bright sunshine.
    Temperature range: 14.8 to 21.3°C.
    Barometric pressure: 1012 HPa rising.
    Wind: SSE 25 to 28 knots at first decreasing to SSE 20 to 25 knots by mid morning.
    Sea surface temperature: 17.7 to 18.9°C.
    Primary chumming location: none due to rough conditions.


    A cold front that was moving across the region ahead of a high-pressure system had produced a fresh southerly air stream.

    A chilly wind whistled through the rigging even before we left the harbour, leaving us in little doubt as to what was in store for us. At first only a handful of Silver Gulls paid us any attention as we ventured beyond the lee of the coast. Eventually a SOUTHERN GIANT-PETREL, a few kelp Gulls and several Wedge–tailed Shearwaters also tagged along behind. Our progress was slow in the heavy weather but eventually we cleared the Five Islands and a first year Black-browed and an ANTIPODEAN ALBATROSS took up station at our stern. Small groups of Fluttering and occasional Hutton’s Shearwaters passed alongside. A pod of Short-beaked Common Dolphins put on a fantastic performance clearing the large swells by several metres, being silhouetted momentarily against the leaden sky.

    Little changed for quite some while until a group of terns slowly closed upon us preferring to forage over the wake rather than close upon our stern. At least 2 were ARCTIC TERNS and several others were White-fronted Terns; White-capped Albatross appeared along with mobs of Short-tailed Shearwaters. A Brown Skua joined the procession behind us along with least 2 first year SHY ALBATROSS. Diomedea albatross followed us but so far behind that specific identification was impossible.

    For several hours we made slow progress against the unpredictable swells. Eventually, we had good views of several Gibson’s Albatross and the first of several Indic Yellow-nosed Albatross before setting course for the shelter of Wollongong Harbour.

    The run back to port was sublime in comparison to the previous few hours. Another mixed species group of terns followed us for a while that included a Common Tern. Yet again
    the grand finale of the day was a first year SALVIN’ S ALBATROSS that repeatedly cut across our wake.

    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)

    929 SOUTHERN GIANT-PETREL Macronectes giganteus 3 (2)
    075 Great-winged Petrel Pterodroma (m.) macroptera 35 (30)
    068 Fluttering Shearwater Puffinus gavia 17 (6)
    913 Hutton’s Shearwater P. huttoni 5 (2)
    069 Wedge-tailed Shearwater P. pacificus 55+ (35+)
    071 Short-tailed Shearwater P. tenuirostris 1500+ (350+)
    086 WANDERING ALBATROSS Diomedea exulans 3 (3)
    846 ANTIPODEAN ALBATROSS D. antipodensis 1
    847 Gibson’s Albatross D. gibsoni 8 (5)
    088 Black-browed Albatross Thalassarche melanophrys 5 (2)
    859 Campbell Albatross T. impavida 2 (1)
    861 SHY ALBATROSS T. cauta 3 (1)
    861 White-capped Albatross T. steadi 5 (3)
    862 SALVIN’S ALBATROSS T. salvini 1
    864 Indic Yellow-nosed Albatross T. carteri 3 (1)
    104 Australasian Gannet Morus serrator 6 (3)
    106 Australian Pelican Pelicanus conspicillatus 5 (4)
    980 Brown Skua Catharacta lonnbergi 3 (2)
    981 Kelp Gull Larus dominicanus 9 (6)
    125 Silver Gull L. novaehollandiae 450+ (350+)
    114 White-fronted Tern Sterna striata 8 (6)
    115 Crested Tern S. bergii 18 (9)
    952 ARCTIC TERN S. paradisaea 4 (2)
    953 Common Tern S. hirundo 1

    In the harbour:

    096 Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo 2 (2)
    099 Pied Cormorant P. varius 1
    100 Little Pied Cormorant P. melanoleucos 1
    106 Australian Pelican Pelicanus conspicillatus 7 (7)

    24 species of seabird identified outside the breakwater.

    Other birds:



    Short-beaked Common Dolphin Delphinus delphis 12 (7)





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