Report prepared by: P.J. Milburn.

    Photographs: Wandering albatross (B. Whylie), Cook's petrel (B. Whylie), White-capped albatross (B. Whylie)

    Departed: 07:15 returned at 15:05.
    Sea conditions: calm at first then SSE 1.0 to 2.0 m.
    Swell: NE 2.0 to 3.0m offshore.
    Weather: heavy rain squalls early remaining cloudy in the afternoon.
    Temperature range: 19.6 to 21.1°C.
    Barometric pressure: 1004 HPa rising.
    Wind: SSE 10 to 15 knots.
    Sea surface temperature: 20.3 to 22.5°C.
    Primary chumming locations: 34° 27’S : 151° 16’E and 34° 26’S : 151° 18’E.


    A high-pressure system was located over New Zealand with a trough over the western Tasman Sea . A high-pressure system was moving southeast out of the Great Australian Bight towards Tasmania . A cold front moved through our area just as we were boarding. This was going to be a good day to test out our wet weather gear!

    Despite the heavy rain there was a good variety of seabirds offshore and a pair of Sooty Oystercatchers flew southward continuing their daily business. Short-tailed Shearwaters were the dominant species and a LONG-TAILED JAEGER was a pleasant surprise close inshore.

    We hoped that the rain would soon clear but it did not. An adult female WANDERING ALABTROSS followed us from the 65-fathom line but there was little else to brighten us up. Sea conditions were very uncomfortable in every direction that we tried and it was a welcome break when we stopped to drift and berley at the edge of the continental shelf. The birds ignored us totally until the fish oil began to trail out. Firstly, Grey-faced Petrels appeared, then a Flesh-footed Shearwater and right our stern a WESTLAND PETREL. All aboard were reaching for their cameras when a cookalaria petrel also came onto the slick. Luckily it remained close to our vessel for long enough for excellent images to be obtained, confirming its identity as a COOK’S PETREL.

    After the excitement had abated we continued eastward to the 200-fathom line and attempted a repeat performance. Flocks of Short-tailed Shearwaters were moving southward but, as often happens, we could not attract more rarities. However, the attendant feeding flock included several Gibson’s, at least one ANTIPODEAN and a WANDERING ALBATROSS. Immature SHY, White-capped, Black-browed and Campbell Albatross provided a great opportunity for close comparison.


    After a bird depauperate trip out to the edge of the continental shelf in miserable weather conditions we cleared the rain and, almost at once, the fish oil slick worked its magic by producing WESTLAND and COOK’S PETREL in short order.
    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)

    075 Grey-faced Petrel Pterodroma macropteragouldi 20 (13)
    918 COOK’S PETREL P. cookii 1
    916 WESTLAND PETREL Procellaria westlandica 1
    068 Fluttering Shearwater Puffinus gavia 1
    913 Hutton’s Shearwater P. huttoni 1
    069 Wedge-tailed Shearwater P. pacificus 45 (25)
    070 Sooty Shearwater P. griseus 3 (2)
    071 Short-tailed Shearwater P. tenuirostris 400+ (150+)
    072 Flesh-footed Shearwater P. carneipes 3 (1)
    086 WANDERING ALBATROSS Diomedea exulans 1
    846 ANTIPODEAN ALBATROSS D. antipodensis 1
    847 Gibson’s Albatross D. gibsoni 5 (5)
    088 Black-browed Albatross Thalassarche melanophrys 3 (2)
    859 Campbell Albatross T. impavida 2 (2)
    091 SHY ALBATROSS T. cauta 1 first year
    861 White-capped Albatross T. steadi 2 (1)
    063 Wilson ’s Storm-Petrel Oceanites oceanicus 1
    104 Australasian Gannet Morus serrator 5 (2)
    106 Australian Pelican Pelicanus conspicillatus 2 (2)
    128 Arctic Jaeger Stercorarius parasiticus 2 (2)
    933 LONG-TAILED JAEGER S. longicauda 1
    945 Pomarine Jaeger S. pomarinus 6 (5)
    981 Kelp Gull Larus dominicanus 6 (4)
    125 Silver Gull L. novaehollandiae 3 (3)
    115 Crested Tern Sterna bergii 2 (2)

    In the harbour:

    096 Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo 1
    106 Australian Pelican Pelicanus conspicillatus 14 (14)
    17 species of procellariiformes in a total of 25 species of seabird identified outside the breakwater.

    Other birds:

    131 Sooty Oystercatcher Haematopus fuliginosus 2 (2)






    Short Sunfish Mola ramsayi 1

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