Report prepared by: P.J. Milburn.
    Photographs: Wedge-tailed shearwater (B. Whylie), Black-bellied Storm-petrel (B. Whylie), Black-bellied Storm-petrel (A. Geilvoet)

    Departed: 07:15 returned at 15:45.
    Sea conditions: NNW to 0.5 m in the morning becoming NNE1.0 to 1.5 m by midday.
    Swell: E 2.0 to 3.0m.
    Weather: pleasantly warm and sunny all day.
    Temperature range: 19.6 to 21.1°C.
    Barometric pressure: 1008 HPa rising.
    Wind: NW 5 to 8 knots at first increasing to NE 10 to 15 knots by midday.
    Sea surface temperature: 19.5 to 21.3°C.
    Primary chumming location: 34° 23’S : 151° 24’E.


    A high-pressure system was located to the east of New Zealand and a weak depression was centered in the Tasman Sea. A Southern Ocean low-pressure system was located to the south of Tasmania and an inland trough extended out to the southern New South Wales coast. In combination this resulted in a shift from southeasterly airflows during the preceding week to modest north westerlies overnight and north easterlies developing during the day.

    We saw nothing until we had cleared the inshore reefs but then we were joined by a mob of Wedge-tailed Shearwaters. Both Arctic and Pomarine Jaegers were shadowing us and several Fluttering, Sooty and Flesh-footed were among the shearwater flock. In contrast to recent trips, Short-tailed Shearwaters were not recorded until we were beyond the 60-fathom line.

    Grey-faced Petrels were patrolling the top of the continental slope in small numbers and, as we stopped at the 250-fathom line to set up a drift-and-berley session, a second summer LONG-TAILED JAEGER and a female Gibson’s Albatross appeared over our wake. We attracted large number of Grey-faced Petrels but the star attraction was a BLACK-BELLIED STORM-PETREL that came very close to our vessel on several occasions. This bird stayed with us for a long time and indeed followed us for the first part of our trip back to Wollongong Harbour.

    During our trip back to port we encountered several more BLACK-BELLIED STORM-PETRELS, Gibson’s Albatrosses and a pod of Short-beaked Common Dolphins that stayed with our vessel for a protracted period.


    Close range views of BLACK-BELLIED STORM-PETRELS made the day for all on board.

    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 macroptera gouldi 100+ (75+)
    068 Fluttering Shearwater Puffinus gavia 4 (1)
    069 Wedge-tailed Shearwater P. pacificus 350+ (150+)
    070 Sooty Shearwater P. griseus 4 (1)
    071 Short-tailed Shearwater P. tenuirostris 30+ (12)
    072 Flesh-footed Shearwater P. carneipes 5 (1)
    847 Gibson’s Albatross Diomedea gibsoni 5 (2)
    066 BLACK-BELLIED STORM-PETREL Fregetta tropica 4 (2)
    104 Australasian Gannet Morus serrator 6 (3)
    096 Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo 1
    106 Australian Pelican Pelicanus conspicillatus 3 (2)
    128 Arctic Jaeger Stercorarius parasiticus 1
    933 LONG-TAILED JAEGER S. longicauda 1
    945 Pomarine Jaeger S. pomarinus 45+ (25+)
    981 Kelp Gull Larus dominicanus 3 (2)
    125 Silver Gull L. novaehollandiae 9 (7)
    115 Crested Tern Sterna bergii 11 (6)

    In the harbour:

    106 Australian Pelican Pelicanus conspicillatus 6 (6)

    8 species of procellariiformes in a total of 17 species of seabird identified outside the breakwater.

    Other birds:



    Short-beaked Common Dolphin Delphinus delphis 25+ (25+)




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