Report prepared by: Lindsay E. Smith.

    Photographs: 2nd year shy albatross (D. Farine), great shearwater (D. Farine).

    Departed: 07:15 returned at 15:45 EDT.
    Sea conditions: Comfortable .Swell: 1.5 to 2.5m offshore.
    Weather: comfortably warm with mostly clear sky.
    Temperature range: 21.0 to 28.7°C.
    Barometric pressure: 1016 HP steady.
    Wind: Morning WSW 12-15 knot breeze strengthening to 20-25 knots SSW.
    Sea surface temperature: 24.2 to 25.7°C.
    Primary chumming location: S 34° 31 15' - E 151° 18'.


    There was a high-pressure system centred south of the Great Australian Bight and a weak low-pressure system out in the Tasman Sea, resulting in southwesterly winds along the NSW coast.

    Australasian Gannets were present in twos and three’s inshore and an Arctic Jaeger was soon harassing the small trailing group of Silver Gulls. Beyond the inshore reefs Wedge-tailed and Flesh-footed Shearwaters were foraging in the company of Australasian Gannets, Crested Terns and both Pomarine and Arctic Jaegers. The first Yellow-nosed Albatross for 2006, an immature bird with a mostly dark bill, passed close by. Seabird numbers increased as we approached the deeper water; an adult SHY ALBATROSS that came to check out our vessel was banded and released by the SOSSA team, Wilson’s Storm-Petrels were present in small groups and both a single Black –browed and several Campbell Albatross joined the flock at our stern.

    At the 100-fathom line, both male and female Gibson’s Albatrosses appeared along with another SHY ALBATROSS with a heavily mottled back. Then from the top deck came the call GREAT SHEARWATER!!! There unmistakeably, not more than10 metres away, was a GREAT SHEARWATER, heading straight for the boat! Inevitably, a raucous chorus of ‘stop-the-boat’ ensued.

    Unable to resist, we began a drift-and-berley session and attracted an impressive mixed flock of Wilson’s and White-faced Storm-Petrels, an assortment of albatross, gannets, terns, gulls and jaegers.

    The trip home was relatively uneventful if you discount being followed by a GREAT SHEARWATER for hours on end!


    Despite the warm-water conditions of late summer, a surprising number of albatross were present but the indisputable highlight was the first GREAT SHEARWATER recorded on the Wollongong boat trip, which followed the boat for over 5 hours.

    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)

    971 Solander’s Petrel Pterodroma solandri 3 (2)
    069 Wedge-tailed Shearwater Puffinus pacificus 300+ (100+)
    071 Short-tailed Shearwater P. tenuirostris 8 (4)
    072 Flesh-footed Shearwater P. carneipes 30+ (20)
    771 GREAT SHEARWATER P. gravis 1
    847 Gibson's Albatross Diomedea gibsoni 5 (3)
    088 Black-browed Albatross Thalassarche melanophis 1
    859 Campbell Albatross T. impavida 3 (2)
    091 SHY ALBATROSS T. cauta 2 (1)
    089 Indian Yellow-nosed Albatross T.carteri 7 (4)
    063 Wilson’s Storm-Petrel Oceanites oceanicus 100+ (38)
    065 White-faced Storm-petrel Pelegodroma marina dulciae 1
    104 Australasian Gannet Morus serrator 17 (6)
    106 Australian Pelican Pelicanus conspicillatus 1
    945 Pomarine Jaeger Stercorarius pomarinus 5 (3)
    128 Arctic Jaeger S. parasiticus 3 (2)
    980 Brown Skua Catharacta lonbergii 1 (1)
    981 Kelp Gull Larus dominicanus 4 (3)
    125 Silver Gull L. novaehollandiae 60+ (35+)
    115 Crested Tern Sterna bergii 30+ (10)

    In the harbour:

    005 Little Penguin Eudyptula minor 1
    096 Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo 5(4)
    097 Little Black Cormorant P. sulcirostris 3 (2)
    106 Australian Pelican Pelicanus conspicillatus 15 (8) |
    115 Crested Tern Sterna bergii 1

    20 species of seabird identified outside the breakwater.

    Other birds:

    Sanderling Calidris alba 1


    Common Dolphin Delphinus delphis 9 (9)




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