• 21st August, 2004 SOSSA PELAGIC TRIP, WOLLONGONG, NSW, AUSTRALIA.

    Report prepared by: P.J. Milburn.

    Departed: 07:50 returned at approx. 17:50.
    Sea conditions: Calm at first later W to 1.5m by mid morning decreasing later in the day.
    Swell: 1.0 to 1.5m SE offshore.
    Weather: Warm winter sunshine with patchy cloud, increasing later.
    Temperature range: 13.2 to 20.2įC.
    Barometric pressure: 1018 HPa rising.
    Wind: W to 10 knots at first rising to 15 knots later in the morning but easing in the afternoon.
    Sea surface temperature: 16.0 to 20.4įC. Primary chumming locations: None due to the uncomfortable choppy sea conditions.

    Summary:

    An anticyclone located over southern New South Wales continued to generate pleasant conditions for a pelagic excursion. An overnight westerly airflow dampened expectations of a repeat performance of the previous dayís excursion. However clement weather and calm conditions suggested that we would have a pleasant day at sea.

    Post-spawning Giant Cuttlefish (Sepia aparma) and schools of Blue Mackerel (Scomber australasicus) were evident on the surface outside the harbour. Black-browed Albatross were conspicuously cruising the area, while an Indic Yellow-nosed and female Gibsonís Albatross were also observed. Apart from an occasional shearwater few other birds were observed. In stark contrast to the lack of avian activity, a Thintail Thresher Shark put on a spectacular display as it attacked a fish shoal at the surface, clearing the water at least five times.

    During the cruise out to the Continental Slope we recorded a White-capped Albatross and a Southern Giant-Petrel along with a number of Indic Yellow-nosed Albatross. White-fronted Terns were also around in good numbers.

    At the edge of the Continental Shelf were several Solanderís Petrels and a small number of Campbell Albatross but little else was recorded. During the cruise back to port we encountered a Minke Whale at the shelf break, several Brown Skuas and a Northern Giant Petrel. Close to the harbour we enjoyed views of a pod of Short-beaked Common Dolphins.

    Highlights:

    Although a quiet day with regard to seabirds, a Minke Whale and a Thintail Thresher Shark were memorable.

    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
    937Northern Giant-Petrel M. halli 1
    971 Solanderís Petrel Pterodroma solandri 5 (2)
    068 Fluttering Shearwater Puffinus gavia 6 (6)
    917 Huttonís Shearwater P. huttoni 4 (1)
    069 Wedge-tailed Shearwater P. pacificus 4 (1)
    847 Gibsonís Albatross Diomedea. gibsoni 1
    088 Black-browed Albatross Thalassarche melanophrys 12 (3)
    859 Campbell Albatross T. impavida 1 (1)
    861 White-capped Albatross T. steadi 5 (2)
    864Indic Yellow-nosed Albatross T.carteri 18 (7)
    104 Australasian Gannet Morus serrator 9 (2)
    980 Brown Skua Catharacta lonnbergi 3 (2)
    981 Kelp Gull Larus dominicanus 10 (10)
    125 Silver Gull L. novaehollandiae 350+ (250+)
    114 White-fronted tern Sterna striata 19 (12)
    115 Crested Tern S. bergii 62 (27) In the harbour:

    115 Crested Tern Sterna bergii 1 22 species of seabird identified outside the breakwater.

    Other birds:

    None

    Mammals:

    Minke Whale Balaenoptera acutorostra 1
    Short-beaked Common Dolphin Delphinus delphis 55+ (55+)

    Fish:

    Thintail Thresher Shark Alopias vulpinus 1
  • Slideshow