• 20th August 2011 SOSSA PELAGIC TRIP, WOLLONGONG, NSW, AUSTRALIA.

    Report prepared by: Lindsay E. Smith.

    Departed: 07:30 returned at 15:15hrs.
    Sea conditions: 2.0 m. moderate sea
    Swell: South east to 4.0m in shore. 3m-offshore abating to 2-3 later in the day
    Weather: Overcast during the morning with scatterd showers throughout the day
    Temperature range: 7 to 20C.
    Wind: South-east 25-30 knts easing later in the day to 20knots
    Sea surface temperature: 18-20.2.

    Primary chumming location: None

    Summary:

    Under the influence of a east coast low pressure system moving up the coast and out into the Tasman Sea conditions were not ideal for boating.

    A few Crested Terns and our first Wedge-tailed Shear waters of the season were patrolling the inshore waters as were small numbers of albatrosses, including, Wandering, Black-browed, and Shy types. Yellow-nosed albatrosses began appearing in small numbers being out numbered by Black-browed Albatrosses.

    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 a Fairy Prion. Conditions did not allow for confirmation. Remarkably we observed no Petrels despite struggling to the shelf. Unfortunately, the sea conditions did not allow us to stop.

    While motoring slowly to allow steerage, we were able to attract a White-faced Storm Petrel. Two young male Antipodean Albatrosses, two more prions, a young Wandering Albatross and a good number of Yellow-nosed, Black-browed, Shy, White-capped Albatrosses and a Northern Giant Petrel were sighted.

    The banding team were successful in capturing and tagging a number of Yellow-nosed, albatrosses and Brown Skuas. Two previously banded birds were also recaptured.

    Highlights:

    Good numbers of albatrosses including Wandering, Shy, Yellow-nosed, Black-browed. Brown Skuas where present in unusually high numbers and were harassing Shy and Black browed albatrosses.

    A very uncomfortable day on the ocean.

    What a difference two weeks can make!

    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)
    065 White-faced Storm-petrel 1
    083 Fairy Prion Pachyptila turtur 3 (2)
    068 Fluttering Shearwater P. gavia 40+ (15)
    086.Wandering Albatross Diomedea exulans 2 (1)
    846 Antipodean Albatross D.antipodensis 2 (2)
    088 Black-browed Albatross Thalassarche melanophris 40+ (15)
    091 Shy Albatross T. cauta . 2 (1)
    089 Indian yellow-nosed Albatross T.carteri 15+
    859 Campbell Albatross T. impavida 3+ (2)
    861 White-capped Albatross T.steadi 3+
    937 Northern Giant Petrel Macronectes halli 1
    8698 Brown Skua Catharacta lonnbergi 10+
    104 Australasian Gannet Morus serrator 4 (2)
    106 Australian Pelican Pelicanus conspicillatus 5 (5)
    125 Silver Gull L. novaehollandiae 100+ (100+)
    981 Kelp Gull L.domicinicanus 4
    115 Crested Tern Sterna bergii 30+ (9)
    114 White-fronted Tern sterna striata 4 (2)

    18 species sighted outside the harbour

    In the harbour:
    096 Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo 1
    100 Little Pied Cormorant, P. melanoleucos 1
    106 Australian Pelican Pelicanus conspicillatus 1

    Other birds:
    Welcome Swallow Hirundo

    Mammals:
    Whale 1 species not determined.
    Australian Fur Seal 2+

    For previous trip reports and selected images from this trip visit
    http://www.sossa-international.org

    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 depart on the 4th Saturday of each month contact: SOSSA: Phone 02 4272 4626 Email: sossa@tpg.com.au
  • Slideshow