Report prepared by: P.J. Milburn.
Departed: 07:15 returned at approx. 16:00.
Sea conditions: to 1.5m NW.
Swell: SE to 0.5m.
Weather: Bright sunshine all day.
Temperature range: 18.1 to 18.6°C.
Barometric pressure: 1030 HPa.
Wind: NW 5kts at first, to WNW 10kts later in the afternoon.
Sea surface temperature: 17.1 to 18.1°C.
Primary chumming location: S 34° 29’ – E 151° 19’.
This trip was the replacement for the scheduled June pelagic, which had been cancelled as a result of a monstrous 5 to 7m NE ground swell closing Wollongong Harbour.
Given the anticyclonic conditions and westerly winds we expected a pleasant cruise but little more. The day was strongly reminiscent of an outing on a park lake in more ways than one. Apart from the tranquil conditions, there were few indications of water mixing and the water had the greenish tones resulting from low oxygenation.
Bird numbers were exceptionally low all day and fortunately, at least, a reasonable number of mammals provided substitute entertainment. The seabird species total for the day was the lowest that I have experienced.
Appropriately for the conditions, pelagic sightings of Pacific Black Duck were of greatest interest to regular attendees!
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)
005 Little Penguin Eudyptula minor 3 (3)
971 Solander’s Petrel Pterodroma solandri 3 (2)
068 Fluttering Shearwater Puffinus gavia 14 (4)
088 Black-browed Albatross Thalassarche melanophrys 2 (1)
864 Indic Yellow-nosed Albatross T. carteri 11 (6)
104 Australasian Gannet Morus serrator 31 (16)
106 Australian Pelican Pelicanus conspicillatus 1
980 Brown Skua Catharacta lonnbergi 1
981 Kelp Gull Larus dominicanus 4 (4)
125 Silver Gull L. novaehollandiae 400+ (95+)
115 Crested Tern Sterna bergii 11 (3)
In the harbour:
096 Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo 1
106 Australian Pelican Pelicanus conspicillatus 6
11 species of seabird identified outside the breakwater.
208 Pacific Black Duck Anas superciliosa 3 (3)
Australian Fur-Seal Arctocephalus pusillus 2 (2)
Humpback Whale Megaptera novaeangliae 2 (2)
Short-beaked Common Dolphin Delphinus delphis 150+ (150+)