Report prepared by: P.J. Milburn.
    Photos by Brook Whylie (White-capped albatross, Gibson's albatross) and P.J. Milburn (Pomarine jaeger).

    Departed: 07:15 returned at 16:10 EDT.
    Sea conditions: to 0.5 to 1.0m NE.
    Swell: to 1.5m ENE.
    Weather: very warm and mostly overcast in the morning, clearing by midday.
    Temperature range: 24.1 to 29.8 °C.
    Barometric pressure: 1016HPa falling.
    Wind: calm at first with a NE breeze of 5 to 10 knots developing by mid morning; backing to the NW after lunch ahead of a strong SW change that arrived shortly after we berthed.
    Sea surface temperature: 20.0 to 20.9°C.
    Primary chumming location: S 34° 31’ – E 151° 19’.


    A high-pressure system was located in the Tasman and another was approaching from the Great Australian Bight. This pattern generated continued hot conditions across eastern Australia and northeasterly sea breezes. A front was moving north up the NSW coast during the day and was expected to bring strong southwesterly winds in the afternoon. Offshore there was a pool of featureless warm water.

    Shearwater numbers over the inshore reef systems were high once again. Jaegers were few and far between during our cruise to the continental slope. At the 90-fathom line we noted an impressive Short Sunfish that marked an area of increased bird activity with Sooty and the first Hutton’s and Flesh-footed Shearwaters in evidence and, also, the first LONG-TAILED JAEGERS of the season flew overhead.

    At the 200-fathom line an adult White-capped Albatross flew in from the southwest.

    We elected to begin a drift-and-berley session at this point being unsure of how the weather would develop. The White-capped Albatross settled on the water and watched us from a respectful distance. We attracted an impressive mixed flock of Great-winged Petrels and shearwaters and at least three Wilson’s Storm Petrels. An adult male Gibson’s Albatross joined the flock feeding behind the boat and was the star act for the day. This bird carried a red Darvic band on its right leg and a metal band on its left. As we began to motor back upwind along the length of the slick another impressively sized Short Sunfish appeared behind the boat.

    We cruised through the shearwater hordes back to shore and added Kelp Gull, which had eluded us the previous day, to the list of daily observations along with Arctic Jaeger.

    The number of seabirds recorded was high but, as on the previous day’s outing, the species diversity was surprisingly low for the season.

    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 40+ (40+)
    068 Fluttering Shearwater Puffinus gavia 300+ (150+)
    917 Hutton’s Shearwater P. huttoni 2 (1)
    069 Wedge-tailed Shearwater P. pacificus 875+ (250+)
    070 Sooty Shearwater P. griseus 5 (2)
    071 Short-tailed Shearwater P. tenuirostris 365+ (150+)
    072 Flesh-footed Shearwater P. carneipes 9 (6)
    847 Gibson’s Albatross Diomedea gibsoni 1 adult male
    861 White-capped Albatross Thalassarche steadi 1 adult
    063 Wilson’s Storm-Petrel Oceanites oceanicus 4 (3)
    104 Australasian Gannet Morus serrator 18 (3)
    106 Australian Pelican Pelicanus conspicillatus 2 (1)
    945 Pomarine Jaeger Stercorarius pomarinus 28 (8)
    128 Arctic Jaeger S. parasiticus 2 (2)
    933 LONG-TAILED JAEGER S. longicauda 2 (2)
    981 Kelp Gull Larus dominicanus 4 (4)
    25 Silver Gull L. novaehollandiae 106 (42)
    115 Crested Tern Sterna bergii 9 (3)

    In the harbour:

    096 Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo 2 (1)
    106 Australian Pelican Pelicanus conspicillatus 2 (1)

    18 species of seabird identified outside the breakwater.

    Other birds:







    Short Sunfish Mola ramsayi 2 (1)
  • Slideshow