Report prepared by: Lindsay E. Smith

    Departed: 0720hrs (delayed by passenger from o/seas)

    For the courtesy of the other patrons, please ensure that you are at the dock at 0630hrs. The boat will depart at 0700hrs!

    Returned: 1605hrs.
    Sea conditions: 1.0 m
    Swell: North east to 1.5metres 1.5-2 metres offshore.
    Weather: Overcast during the morning. Clearing mid morn
    Temperature range: 13-20 °C.
    Barometric pressure: 1020Hp
    Wind: North-east 5-10 knts
    Sea surface temperature: 18°-20.2°.
    Primary chumming location: 240 Fathoms


    The Illawarra was under the influence of a high pressure system moving along the coast. There were very few birds inshore as we headed out to the Wollongong reef. The water was very dirty (Black water is the local term for it).

    A few Crested Terns and a lone Wedge-tailed Shearwater were patrolling the inshore waters as were small numbers of Gulls, the occasional Fluttering shearwater and one or two Black-browed albatrosses (Juveniles). As we approached the Trap reef, albatrosses began appearing in small numbers mostly Black-browed, along with a White-capped albatross (juvenile) and an adult Shy albatross.

    Generally the in-shore waters were quiet, with a small number of Fluttering Shearwaters flying north. The Silver gulls were in small flocks. Breeding season on the Five Islands is underway and many Gulls may have remained on the islands.

    At the 40 fathom line we encountered the first prion of the day as it flew across our stern. It appeared to be a fairy prion. Crested Tern numbers also began to increase. Many birds looking resplendent in their nuptial finery. We motored out to 240 fathoms with more birds following. Here we observed the first of very few Solander’s petrels of the day.

    The banding team were successful in capturing and tagging a number of albatrosses. We were successful in catching and ringing 5 Wandering albatrosses, including a previously banded individual from N.Z. Also captured and banded were 2 Indian yellow-nosed and a Black-browed albatross.

    Hump-backed Whales, Common Dolphins. Fur-seals

    Good numbers of Albatrosses including Wandering, Shy, Yellow-nosed, Black browed. A very comfortable day on the ocean.

    Many thanks to all who shared the day,
    Thank you for having supported our research.
    We hoped that you enjoyed the birds.
    Cheers Lindsay

    Birds recorded according to the Environment Australia Reporting Schedule:

    Species code: Species name: Numbers:
    (Note: numbers in parenthesis = highest count at any one time)

    Note: List prepared by Graham Barwell.

    5+ Wandering Albatross, 5 caught & banded—3 female exulans, 1 male antipodensis, 1 immature of uncertain identity. Black-browed Albatross, identifiable adults all melanophris but unidentifiable immatures also present
    c. 5 Shy Albatross, cauta & immature steadi with grey heads & necks
    22+ Yellow-nosed Albatross, adults & immatures, all carteri
    1 Fairy Prion (I didn’t see this but others did)
    Wedge-tailed Shearwater
    Fluttering Shearwater
    1 Hutton’s Shearwater
    5+ Providence Petrel
    Australasian Gannet
    1 Australian Pelican
    Crested Tern
    3 Kelp Gull, 2 adults & 1 immature
    Silver Gull

    Also seen were at least 3 Humpack Whale, some Australian Fur Seals, a shark sp., possibly Bronze Whaler, & several tuna sp.
    For previous trip reports and selected images from this trip visit

    Future Trips:
    All Pelagic Trips from NSW are operated at no profit to the organizers, being operated as group boat charters for the benefit of all who wish to join us. If you would like to join one of these trips please contact us as detailed below:
    To make a booking on the SOSSA Wollongong Pelagic Trips
    These departs on the 4th Saturday of each month contact:
    SOSSA: Phone 02 4272 4626
    Email: sossa@tpg.com.au
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