• 6th October 2007, SOSSA WIRES PELAGIC TRIP, WOLLONGONG, NSW, AUSTRALIA.

    Report prepared by: P.J. Milburn.

    Departed: 07:20 returned at approx. 14:15.
    Sea conditions: calm at first then SSE seas at 2.0 to 3.0m offshore following the change.
    Swell: NE less than 1.0m.
    Weather: high cloud at first, clearing to bright sunshine.
    Temperature range: 20.1 to 24.4įC.
    Barometric pressure: 998 HPa rising.
    Wind: 8 to 10 knots N by mid morning, 30 to 35 knots S after mid-day decreasing to SSE 20 to 25 knots during the afternoon.
    Sea surface temperature: 18.6 to 21.1įC.
    Primary chumming location: 34į 37íS : 151į 12íE.

    Summary:

    The sultry morning was laced with wood smoke and Bogong Moths following the hot dry westerly winds of the week preceding. A cold front was moving across the region that brought with it a sharp southerly change. There was very little activity prior to the change but seabirds were abundant behind the front.

    Birds were few and far between among the thousands of moths. As we cleared the inshore reefs a small pod of Short-beaked Common Dolphins traveled alongside us briefly and Wedge-tailed Shearwaters were foraging over our wake.

    As we headed southeast in anticipation of the impending weather change, a striking white male Gibsonís Albatross and several Brown Skuas joined us.

    We continued past the edge of the continental shelf and began to drift and berley in 250 fathoms of water. Soon, Black-browed, Campbell, White-capped and Indic Yellow-nosed Albatross were alongside and several WANDERING appeared among the Gibsonís Albatross. The majority of the petrels were Solanderís with a few Grey-faced in evidence also.

    With the weather change visible well to our south we set our course for the shelter of Wollongong Harbour. We were about half way back to port when the front came through and soon we were drenched with spay. Seabirds began to appear immediately all around us and in the wild weather created a very impressive seascape. The wind eased fairly soon shifting around to the east a little and we had a comfortable cruise home. Highlights were a SOUTHERN GIANT-PETREL, an ANTIPODEAN ALBATROSS and an immaculate adult male BROWN BOOBY.

    Highlight:

    The wheeling flocks of seabirds around us following the passage of the cold front that included an immaculate adult male BROWN BOOBY.


    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 1
    075 Grey-faced Petrel Pterodroma macroptera gouldi 2 (1)
    971 Solanderís Petrel P. solandri 42 (35)
    068 Fluttering Shearwater Puffinus gavia 35 (11)
    913 Huttonís Shearwater P. huttoni 15 (8)
    069 Wedge-tailed Shearwater P. pacificus 250+ (230+)
    071 Short-tailed Shearwater P. tenuirostris 13 (7)
    072 Flesh-footed Shearwater P. carneipes 1
    086 WANDERING ALBATROSS Diomedea exulans 3 (2)
    846 ANTIPODEAN ALBATROSS D. antipodensis 1
    847 Gibsonís Albatross D. gibsoni 14 (11)
    088 Black-browed Albatross Thalassarche melanophrys 6 (3)
    859 Campbell Albatross T. impavida 1
    861 White-capped Albatross T. steadi 1
    089 Indic Yellow-nosed Albatross T. carteri 2 (2)
    104 Australasian Gannet Morus serrator 14 (7)
    105 BROWN BOOBY Sula leucogaster 1
    106 Australian Pelican Pelicanus conspicillatus 5 (5)
    980 Brown Skua Catharacta lonnbergi 3 (2)
    128 Arctic Jaeger Stercorarius parasiticus 1
    981 Kelp Gull Larus dominicanus 2 (2)
    125 Silver Gull L. novaehollandiae 83 (45)
    114 White-fronted Tern Sterna striata 3 (2)
    115 Crested Tern S. bergii 24 (17)
    953 Common Tern S. hirundo 2 (1)

    In the harbour:

    096 Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo 1
    097 Little Pied Cormorant P. sulcirostris 3 (3)
    106 Australian Pelican Pelicanus conspicillatus 7 (7)
    115 Crested Tern Sterna bergii 1

    25 species of seabird identified outside the breakwater.

    Other birds:

    None

    Mammals:

    Short-beaked Common Dolphin Delphinus delphis 4 (4)

    Reptiles:

    None

    Fish:

    None
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