• 28th October 2007, SOSSA PELAGIC TRIP, WOLLONGONG, NSW, AUSTRALIA.

    Report prepared by: P.J. Milburn.

    Departed: 07:20 returned at approx. 15:30.
    Sea conditions: calm at first then NE 1.5 to 2.0 m.
    Swell: ENE 2.0 to 3.0 m offshore.
    Weather: overcast and foggy in the morning but high cloud in the afternoon.
    Temperature range: 18.9 to 23.6įC.
    Barometric pressure: 1001 HPa rising.
    Wind: calm at first increasing to 10 to 15 knots NE by mid morning.
    Sea surface temperature: 20.7 to 21.6įC.
    Primary chumming location: 34į 19íS : 151į 21íE.

    Summary:

    A high-pressure system remained over New Zealand as a trough developed over eastern Australia . Conditions were calm and foggy as we left port and, as on the previous dayís excursion, we were immediately among Short-tailed and Fluttering Shearwaters. A lone Sooty Shearwater was close inshore and provided nice comparative views with a Short-tailed Shearwater. Several Humpback Whales were sighted before we had cleared the inshore reefs. Fur-seals were foraging a little further offshore and among them were 3 SUBANTARCTIC FUR-SEALS that had herded up a school of Cowanyoung . Both Arctic and Pomarine Jaegers were recorded early and it seemed as though they had finally arrived in significant numbers.
    Beyond 65 fathoms we encountered several Campbell Albatross and a Solanderís Petrel but otherwise our cruise out to the edge of the continental shelf was relatively uneventful. Heavy northeasterly winds had been forecast for the afternoon so we continued northeast parallel to the shelf break and then stopped to set up a drift-and-berley session. We were joined by ANTIPODEAN, Gibsonís, Black-browed, White-capped and more Campbell Albatross almost immediately. We ultimately accumulated a modest flock of Wilson ís Storm-Petrels and few Grey-faced and Solanderís Petrels also checked us out but the seabird numbers remained low overall.
    The highlights of the return trip were both single first year SHY and Indic Yellow-nosed Albatross along with several Pomarine Jaegers.

    Highlights:

    Something of a return to normality after the trip of the preceding day but we had great views of a 3 SUBANTARCTIC FUR-SEALS and 3 Humpback Whales over the inshore reefs. Seven albatross species were recorded in a total of 17 procellariiformes.
    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)

    080 Cape Petrel Daption capense australe 1
    075 Grey-faced Petrel Pterodroma macropteragouldi 6 (3)
    971 Solanderís Petrel P. solandri 3 (1)
    068 Fluttering Shearwater Puffinus gavia 4 (1)
    913 Huttonís Shearwater P. huttoni 1
    069 Wedge-tailed Shearwater P. pacificus 68 (25)
    070 Sooty Shearwater P. griseus 1
    071 Short-tailed Shearwater P. tenuirostris 13 (5)
    072 Flesh-footed Shearwater P. carneipes 2 (2)
    846 ANTIPODEAN ALBATROSS Diomedea antipodensis 1
    847 Gibsonís Albatross D. gibsoni 5 (5)
    088 Black-browed Albatross Thalassarche melanophrys 1
    859 Campbell Albatross T. impavida 15 (9)
    091 Shy Albatross T. cauta 1 first year
    861 White-capped Albatross T. steadi 3 (2)
    089 Indic Yellow-nosed Albatross T.carteri 1 first year
    063 Wilson ís Storm-Petrel Oceanites oceanicus 13 (10)
    104 Australasian Gannet Morus serrator 26 (10)
    106 Australian Pelican Pelicanus conspicillatus 1
    128 Arctic Jaeger Stercorarius parasiticus 4 (2)
    945 Pomarine Jaeger S. pomarinus 5 (3)
    981 Kelp Gull Larus dominicanus 1 first summer
    125 Silver Gull L. novaehollandiae 105 (48)
    115 Crested Tern Sterna bergii 27 (12)
    953 Common Tern S. hirundo 4 (2)

    In the harbour:

    096 Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo 1
    106 Australian Pelican Pelicanus conspicillatus 7 (7)
    17 procellariiformes in a total of 25 species of seabird identified outside the breakwater.

    Other birds:

    None

    Mammals:

    SUBANTARCTIC FUR-SEAL Arctocephalus tropicalis 3 (3)
    Humpback Whale Megaptera novaeangliae 3 (2)

    Reptiles:

    None

    Fish:

    Greenback Horse Mackerel (Cowanyoung) Trachurus declivis 300+ (300+)
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