Report prepared by: P.J. Milburn.

    Departed: 07:15 returned at approx. 16:00 .
    Sea conditions: slight WSW at first rising to 1.5 to 2.0m SSW by late morning.
    Swell: SE 1.0 to 1.5m inshore and 1.5 to 2.0 m offshore.
    Weather: Light high-level cloud at first increasing during the day.
    Temperature range: 8.9 to 19.3°C.
    Barometric pressure: 1018 HPa rising.
    Wind: WSW 5 to 8 knots at first increasing to SSW 15 knots later.
    Sea surface temperature: 18.1 to 21.8°C.
    Primary chumming location: S 34° 30’ – E 151° 19’.


    A slow-moving anticyclone remained in the Great Australian Bight and a weak low-pressure system was located in the southwestern Tasman Sea . A weak upper-level disturbance generated fresh southwesterly breezes with increasing high cloud forming during the day.

    Unusually, Indic Yellow-nosed Albatross outnumbered Black-browed Albatross in the shallow water and, after an influx overnight, Hutton’s and Fluttering Shearwaters were present in almost equal proportions. Fairy Prions were foraging inside the 20-fathom line and we were soon being shadowed by a mixed flock of Gibson’s, Black-browed, Campbell , SHY, White-capped and Indic Yellow-nosed Albatross. The early indications were that we would have another great day of albatross watching.

    Just inside the warmer water at the 60-fathom line, we encountered 3 Southern Humpback Whales heading north and as we were watching these the first SOUTHERN GIANT-PETREL of the 2006 winter season circled our vessel a couple of times.

    Heading eastwards toward the continental slope prions were all around us but all that offered close inspection were Fairy Prions. We had to venture into deeper water before we encountered any petrels and even then they were few and far between. We began a drift-and-berley session and gradually began to attract some new birds. The highlight of these was an adult BULLER’S ALBATROSS.

    An ANTIPODEAN ALBATROSS and a nominate Great-winged Petrel were late additions to the trip list on our way back to port.

    Brown Skua was a noticeable absentee following higher than average numbers the previous day.


    This was another interesting day at sea with 9 species of albatross being recorded and a total of 16 species of procellariiformes identified. We witnessed the first record for 2006 of the now rather scarce SOUTHERN GIANT PETREL and another stunning adult BULLER’S ALBATROSS.

    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)

    929SOUTHERN GIANT-PETREL Macronectes giganteus 1
    080 Cape Petrel Daption capense australe 5 (5)
    075 Great-winged Petrel Pterodroma m. macroptera 1
    971 Solander’s Petrel P. solandri 3 (1)
    083 Fairy Prion Pachyptila turtur 550+ (300+)
    068 Fluttering Shearwater Puffinus gavia 60+ (45+)
    913 Hutton’s Shearwater P. huttoni 45+ (30+)
    086 WANDERING ALBATROSS Diomedea exulans 3 (3)
    846 ANTIPODEAN ALBATROSS D. antipodensis 2 (2)
    847 Gibson’s Albatross D. gibsoni 6 (3)
    088 Black-browed Albatross Thalassarche melanophrys 40+ (20+)
    859 Campbell Albatross T. impavida 5 (2)
    931 BULLER’S ALBATROSS T. bulleri 1
    861 SHY ALBATROSS T. cauta 3 (2)
    861 White-capped Albatross T. steadi 9 (4)
    864Indic Yellow-nosed Albatross T.carteri 62 (25)
    104 Australasian Gannet Morus serrator 18 (7)
    099 Pied Cormorant Phalacrocorax varius 1
    106 Australian Pelican Pelicanus conspicillatus 1
    981 Kelp Gull Larus dominicanus 2 (2)
    125 Silver Gull L. novaehollandiae 195+ (75+)
    114 White-fronted Tern Sterna striata 2 (1)
    115 Crested Tern S. bergii 7 (2)

    In the harbour:

    100 Little Pied Cormorant Phalacrocorax melanoleucos 1
    106 Australian Pelican Pelicanus conspicillatus 3 (2)
    115 Crested Tern Sterna bergii 2 (1)

    23 species of seabird identified outside the breakwater.

    Other birds:



    Humpback Whale Megaptera novaeangliae 3 (3)




    Striped Marlin Tetrapturus audax 1
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