Report prepared by: P.J. Milburn.
Photos: Antipodean albatross (P. Milburn), Black petrel (I. Vandyke).
Departed: 07:20 returned at 16:05 EST
Sea conditions: to 0.5m ESE to 1.0m SSE in the afternoon.
Swell: 2 to 3m from the east. Weather: Overcast with light rain at first. Occasional showers during the morning, rain developing later with some thunderstorm activity. Temperature range: 20.8 to 22.2°C. Barometric pressure: 1022HPa steady.
Wind: ESE 5 to 10 knots in the morning backing to SSE 10 to 15 knots in the afternoon.
Sea surface temperature: 18.9 to 19.9°C.
Primary chumming location: S 34° 29’ – E 151° 21’.
A weak low-pressure cell in the southwest Tasman Sea had been absorbed overnight by a high-pressure system approaching from the Great Australian Bight. This resulted in showers and weak storm activity in the Wollongong area.
Immediately outside the breakwater, we observed terns and shearwaters foraging and several Southern Humpback Whales with calves heading south. Several Arctic Jaegers were harassing the Silver Gulls.
During the cruise to the edge of the Continental Shelf we observed several more Arctic Jaegers and a first year Indic Yellow-nosed Albatross. As we moved into deeper water, several Solander’s Petrels and a sub adult male ANTIPODEAN ALBATROSS, the first recorded on a Wollongong Pelagic Trip for five years, joined us. A trawler was working ahead of us and several Gibson’s Albatross peeled off and came to investigate our vessel. We pulled up astern of the trawler and began to berley in earnest. We attracted a variety of petrels, including two BLACK PETRELS, several albatross species and Pomarine, Arctic and LONG-TAILED JAEGER. Although the rain threatened to dampen our enjoyment it held off long enough for us to cruise back along our berley trail, which allowed us brief views of a NORTHERN GIANT-PETREL.
The return cruise was marred by heavy rain and the threat of thunder but an unseasonably late adult Black browed Albatross appeared adding to our species tally.
Fabulous views of a sub adult male ANTIPODEAN ALBATROSS and at least two BLACK PETRELS made this a day to remember.
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)
937NORTHERN GIANT-PETREL Macronectes halli 1
073 Great-winged Petrel Pterodroma macroptera gouldi 70+ (35+)
971 Solander’s Petrel P. solandri 29 (15)
917 BLACK PETREL Procellaria parkinsoni 2 (2)
068 Fluttering Shearwater Puffinus gavia 375+ (300+)
917 Hutton’s Shearwater P. huttoni 9 (5)
069 Wedge-tailed Shearwater P. pacificus 800+ (250+)
070 Sooty Shearwater P. griseus 3 (1)
071 Short-tailed Shearwater P. tenuirostris 48 (15)
072 Flesh-footed Shearwater P. carneipes 3 (1)
846 ANTIPODEAN ALBNATROSS Diomedea antipodensis 1 sub adult male
847 Gibson’s Albatross D. gibsoni 10 (6)
088 Black-browed Albatross Thalassarche melanophrys 1 adult
859 Campbell Albatross T. impavida 4 (2)
861 White-capped Albatross T. steadi 1
864Indic Yellow-nosed Albatross T.carteri 3 (2)
063 Wilson’s Storm-Petrel Oceanites oceanicus 1
104 Australasian Gannet Morus serrator 13 (7)
106 Australian Pelican Pelicanus conspicillatus 2 (2)
945 Pomarine Jaeger Stercorarius pomarinus 9 (3)
128 Arctic Jaeger S. parasiticus 5 (2)
933 LONG-TAILED JAEGER S. longicauda 1
981 Kelp Gull Larus dominicanus 8 (7)
125 Silver Gull L. novaehollandiae 200+ (130+)
115 Crested Tern Sterna bergii 45+ (25)
953 Common Tern S. hirundo 2 (1)
In the harbour:
100Little Pied Cormorant Phalacrocorax melanoleucos 1
099 Pied Cormorant P. varius 1
096 Great Cormorant P. carbo 1
106 Australian Pelican Pelicanus conspicillatus 4
26 species of seabird identified outside the breakwater.
Humpback Whale Megaptera novaeangliae 4 (2)
Short-beaked Common Dolphin Delphinus delphis 5 (5)