• 12th August 2001 WOLLONGONG SOSSA PELAGIC RESEARCH TRIP REPORT, NSW, AUSTRALIA

    Report prepared by: P.J. Milburn.

    Conditions:


    Departed at 7.45 am and returned at approx.4.30 pm.
    Sea Conditions: calm at first, increasing later to slight. Swell to 1metre, SE.
    Weather: Glorious sunshine all day. Max. 21C
    Barometeric pressure: 1025 HPa
    Wind: Calm to 10 kts NW later.
    Water temperature 18.1 to 21.1 degrees C.
    Primary chumming location S 34 31' - E 151 23'.

    Summary:

    Yet another summer day in winter!! The calm weather continued leading to the expectation of another quiet day at sea. Another disappointing day for the number of species with even fewer individuals than the previous day.

    We saw a several Little Pengiun and a small number of shearwaters close to the coast. About 10 miles out we ran into a bit more bird life seeing what turned out to be the only group of albatross for the day and a suprising number of Brown Skuas sitting on the water.

    Our friend the Kelp Gull followed us out into deep water again with only a small number of other birds in company. Once again we sighted Pygmy Killer Whales with Solander's Petrels in attendance. Closing in on 2 trawlers, we were horrified to observe that not a single albatross was in attendance. Not suprisingly, we did not see a single albatross wide of the continental shelf all day. This was truly the quietest of days.

    The NW breeze came up on the return trip and the highlight of the day for those who were still awake was a passage of terns, including an ARCTIC TERN and the first common terns of the spring. It seems as though this is the year to see ARCTIC TERN in NSW!

    Highlights:

    An interesting coastal passage of terns in the afternoon, which included an adult ARCTIC TERN.

    Birds recorded according to latest Environment Australia Reporting Schedule:Species code: Species name: NumbersNote: numbers in parenthesis = highest count at any one time)

    005 Little Penguin Eudyptula minor 3 (1)
    971 Solander's Petrel P. solandri 16 (6)
    083 Fairy Prion Pachyptila turtur 5 (1)
    068 Fluttering Shearwater Puffinus gavia 14 (3)
    070 Hutton's Shearwater P. huttoni 2 (1)
    088 Black-browed Albatross Thalassarche melanophrys 3 (1)
    864 Indic Yellow-nosed Albatross T. carteri 3 (1)
    065 White-faced Storm-Petrel Pelagodroma marina 1
    980 Brown Skua Catharacta lonnbergi 4 (2)
    104 Australasian Gannet Morus serrator 11 (5)
    106 Australian Pelican Pelicanus conspicillatus 2 (1)
    981 Kelp Gull Larus dominicanus 8 (7)
    125 Silver Gull L. novaehollandiae 100+ (35+)
    114 White-fronted Tern Sterna striata 2 (1) 1 adult
    115 Crested Tern S. bergii 30+ (25+)
    953 Common Tern S. hirundo 2 (1) 1 adult in breeding plumage
    952 ARCTIC TERN S. paradisaea 1 (1) adult in breeding plumage
    100 Little Pied Cormorant Phalacrocorax melanoleucos 2 (2)

    In the harbour:

    115 Crested Tern Sterna bergii 2
    100 Little Pied Cormorant Phalacrocorax melanoleucos1
    106 Australian Pelican Pelicanus conspicillatus 4
    981 Kelp Gull Larus dominicanus 1
    125 Silver Gull L. novaehollandiae 1518 species of seabird identified outside the breakwater.

    Mammals:

    Pygmy Killer Whale 18 (10)
  • Slideshow