Report prepared by: P.J. Milburn.

    Departed: 07:15 returned at 16:00 .
    Sea conditions: calm at first rising to 1.0 metre NE in the afternoon.
    Swell: negligible.
    Weather: patchy light cloud early but clearing to bright sunshine for the rest of the day.
    Temperature range: 19.3 to 27.3°C.
    Barometric pressure: 1018 HPa.
    Wind: NE to 5 to 8 knots during the morning rising to15 knots in the afternoon.
    Sea surface temperature: 19.1 to 20.9°C.
    Primary chumming location: S 34° 27’ – E 151° 28’.


    A high-pressure system was located just off the New South Wales coast in the Tasman Sea . At first light, conditions were calm with a little sea mist and high patchy cloud. This soon burned off and we found ourselves cruising eastwards on a clam sea enjoying a glorious clear summer morning. The threat of the day becoming uncomfortably hot was countered by pleasant afternoon sea breezes from the northeast.

    Wedge-tailed, Fluttering and even Flesh-footed Shearwaters were just outside the breakwater. We were very surprised to watch two Gibson’s Albatross home in on us on such a beautiful summer morning. A little farther offshore we encountered the first Short-tailed and Hutton’s Shearwaters for the day.

    We had to wait until we were outside Wollongong Reef before an Arctic and several Pomarine Jaegers appeared and with them were mobs of Wedge-tailed Shearwaters. At the sixty-five-fathom line we passed close by to a huge Short-tailed Sunfish and ran into flocks of Short-tailed Shearwaters heading south. As we reached deeper water, we encountered further activity: a pod of Short-beaked Common Dolphins, a second year Black-browed and an adult SHY ALBATROSS.

    Well beyond the edge of the continental shelf we encountered the first of the Great-winged Petrels and an adult SOOTY TERN to add to our daily tally. It really was a sleepy day in pelagic waters and when we eventually did set up a drift-and-berley session at the 600-fathom line we only attracted a few Wilson ’s Storm-Petrels and several Gibson’s Albatross. The Great-winged Petrels and the assortment of shearwater species present responded by settling on the water several hundred metres away and going to sleep!

    Even the trip back to port failed to produce much excitement in contrast to recent experience. A Brown Skua was an unexpected sighting because this species has normally departed from these waters by the end of October.

    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)

    073 Great-winged Petrel Pterodroma macroptera gouldi 10 (4)
    068 Fluttering Shearwater Puffinus gavia 67 (25)
    913 Hutton’s Shearwater P. huttoni 2 (1)
    069 Wedge-tailed Shearwater P. pacificus 395+ (150+)
    071 Short-tailed Shearwater P. tenuirostris 435+ (150+)
    072 Flesh-footed Shearwater P. carneipes 3 (1)
    847 Gibson’s Albatross Diomedea gibsoni 6 (3)
    088 Black-browed Albatross Thalassarche melanophrys 1
    859 Campbell Albatross T. impavida 1
    091 SHY ALBATROSS T. cauta 1
    063 Wilson ’s Storm-Petrel Oceanites oceanicus 4 (3)
    104 Australasian Gannet Morus serrator 5 (2)
    106 Australian Pelican Pelicanus conspicillatus 1
    128 Arctic Jaeger Stercorarius parasiticus 2 (1)
    945 Pomarine Jaeger S. pomarinus 13 (4)
    980 Brown Skua Catharacta lonnbergi 1
    981 Kelp Gull Larus dominicanus 2 (1)
    125 Silver Gull L. novaehollandiae 43 (20)
    115 Crested Tern Sterna bergii 13 (3)
    120 SOOTY TERN S. fuscata 1

    In the harbour:

    096 Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo 4 (4)
    097 Little Black Cormorant P. sulcirostris 1
    099 Pied Cormorant P. varius 1
    100 Little Pied Cormorant P. melanoleucos 1
    101 Australian Darter Anhinga melanogaster 2 (1)
    106 Australian Pelican Pelicanus conspicillatus 8 (8)
    115 Crested Tern Sterna bergii 1

    20 species of seabird identified outside the breakwater.

    Other birds:

    131 Sooty Oystercatcher Haematopus fuliginosus 1


    Short-beaked Common Dolphin Delphinus delphis 16 (16)




    Short Sunfish Mola ramsayi 2 (1)
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