Report prepared by: P.J. Milburn.
Departed: 07:15 returned at approx. 16:30.
Sea conditions: 1.0m NE at first rising to 2.0m NE at times during the day.
Swell: NE 1 to 2m.
Weather: Mostly overcast but with substantial sunny periods.
Temperature range: 23.5 to 24.5°C.
Barometric pressure: 1027 HPa.
Wind: NE 10 kts at first, rising to NE 15 kts at times during the day.
Sea surface temperature: 23.1 to 23.8°C.
Primary chumming locations: S 34° 29' - E 151° 19', 34° 28' - 151° 26'.
Dawn broke over a grey and brooding seascape with the persistent northeasterly breeze chopping up the ocean. The sky was overcast and theatmosphere was humid…… in short, perfect conditions for the season!!Expectations were running high as we pushed out of the harbour into theshort impatient sea.
The trip started slowly with a small group of Silver Gulls giving a group of half a dozen or so Pomarine Jaegers a wide berth. The Jaegers stayed with us and some of them were now looking very impressive as the breeding season approaches. The cruise out to the continental shelf break continue din the same relaxed vein with an assortment of seasonal shearwaters and Jaegers joining in. A small pod of Short-beaked Common Dolphins rode the bow wave for a while at around the 80-fathom line.
Just over the 100-fathom line we encountered the first Great-winged Petrels of the day. Stopping to chum at the 200-fathom line, we attracted an impressive number of Wedge-tailed and Flesh-footed Shearwaters to the boat along with a newly fledged Gibson's Albatross. The noisy throng of seabirds behind the boat attracted a couple of newly moulted Solander's Petrels and a Wilson's Storm-Petrel quartered the berley trail for a while.
Venturing further east we encountered warmer water at the 600-fathom line. Another drift-and-berley session brought almost instant results with a STREAKED SHEARWATER and a GREY TERNLET being observed in quick succession at the edge of the berley trail.
The trip back to port brought further excitement in the form of distant views of a WHITE TERN.A very enjoyable pelagic cruise but the low number of petrels was a littledisappointing.
A STREAKED SHEARWATER, a GREY TERNLET and a distant WHITE TERN provided themain adrenaline surges for the day. For the aficionados aboard, a newlyfledged Gibson's Albatross and several freshly moulted Solander's Petrels were stunning in their pristine plumage.
Birds recorded according to the latest Environment Australia Reporting
Species code: Species name: Numbers:
(Note: numbers in parenthesis = highest count at any one time)
971 Solander's Petrel Pterodroma solandri 4 (1)
073 Great-winged Petrel P. macroptera gouldi 25 (15)
853 STREAKED SHEARWATER Calonectris leucomelas 1
068 Fluttering Shearwater Puffinus gavia 6 (3)
069 Wedge-tailed Shearwater P. pacificus 500+ (350+)
070 Sooty Shearwater P. griseus 1
071 Short-tailed Shearwater P. tenuirostris 3 (2)
072 Flesh-footed Shearwater P. carneipes 80+ (20+)
847 Gibson's Albatross, Diomedea gibsoni 1
063 Wilson's Storm-Petrel, Oceanites oceanicus 2 (1)
104 Australasian Gannet, Morus serrator 10 (2)
128 Arctic Jaeger Stercorarius parasiticus 4(1)
945 Pomarine Jaeger S. pomarinus 44 (11)
981 Kelp Gull Larus dominicanus 2 (2)
125 Silver Gull L. novaehollandiae 40+ (20+)
115 Crested Tern Sterna bergii 11 (3)
982 GREY TERNLET Procelsterna cerulea 1
972 WHITE TERN Gygis alba 1
In the harbour:
005 Little Penguin Eudyptula minor 1
18 species of seabird identified outside the breakwater.
Sort-beaked Common Dolphin Delphinus delphis 5
Oceanic Bottlenose Dolphi Tursiops t. truncatus 40+