Report prepared by: Lindsay E. Smith.

    Departed: 07:15 returned 16:00 hrs.
    Sea conditions: Below 1.0 m

    Swell: North east to 1.5metres 1.5-2 metres offshore.
    Weather: Bright morning with scattered cloud during the day.
    Temperature range: 12-21 °C.
    Barometric pressure: 1020Hp

    Wind: North east 10 15knts rising to 30knts later in the afternoon
    Sea surface temperature: 18°-19.6°.

    Primary chumming location: 400 Fathoms


    There were few birds inshore as we headed out to the Wollongong reef where the bulk carriers lay anchored, a few Crested Terns and the occasional Fluttering Shearwater, one or two Black-browed Albatrosses (juveniles) followed in our wake. Conditions for birds, was much better than last weekend and the early light was very good to work with.

    As we approached the Trap reef, albatrosses began appearing in small numbers mostly Black-browed Albatross and a White-capped Albatross (juvenile) and adults, together with adult and juvenile Shy Albatrosses. These birds were soon joined by a juvenile Salvin’s Albatross. This allowed direct comparison of a number of birds from this difficult group the “Shy albatross complex”. It was here we were also joined by a Brown Skua

    The Silver gulls were in small flocks. Breeding season on the Five Islands is well underway and many Gulls followed to more than 20NM from shore. Crested Terns were in unusually large numbers 100+ individuals counted on one stop.

    We motored out to 500 fathoms (24.6 NM) with more birds following. No trawlers were working so we had the birds to ourselves. Once clear of the continental shelf break, we observed the first of very few petrels of the day a Great-winged Petrel (Macoptera m.) came in with its characteristic lopping dashing flight to give us a look over, before heading off to the horizon. This was followed by White-headed Petrel which gave great views as it passed close by the boat. Wandering Albatrosses (a mix of Indian Ocean and birds from New Zealand) other birds including a Cape Petrel, came over to investigate what we had to offer.

    The banding team were successful in capturing and tagging a number of albatrosses. We were successful in catching and ringing 9 Wandering albatrosses including one previously banded almost 40 years ago. They also captured and banded 2 Indian yellow-nosed albatrosses and the Salvin’s albatross that continued to follow the boat for most of the day, giving all on board to see these birds up close and personal!

    Hump-backed Whales, Common Dolphins, Striped Dolphins, Fur-seals
    39+ year old Wandering albatross, Salvin’s Albatross, White-headed Petrel and Great-winged Petrel

    Many thanks to all who shared the day,

    Thank you for having supported our research.
    We hoped that you enjoyed the birds as much as we did.
    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)

    029 Northern Giant Petrel Macronectes Halli 2---(2)
    080 Cape Petrel Daption c australe 2 (2)
    075. Great-winged Petrel Macroptera macoptera. 2 (1)
    077 White-headed Petrel Pterodroma lessoni 1 (1)
    971 Solander’s Petrel Pterodroma solandri 5 (2)
    069 Wedge-tailed Shearwater Puffinus pacificus 50+ (30)
    068 Fluttering Shearwater Puffinus gavia 30+ (10+)
    086 Wandering Albatross Diomedea exulans 20+ 9 caught & banded.
    486 Antipodean Albatross D.antipodensis 5+ (4)
    088 Black-browed Albatross Thalassarche melanophris 40+ Adults and Juveniles
    859 Campbell Albatross Thalassarche impavida 8+ (4) Adults and Juveniles
    091 Shy Albatross Thalassarche cauta (3) Adults and Juveniles
    862 Salvin’s Albatross Thalassarche salvini 1-(1) Captured and ringed
    861 White-capped Albatross Thalassarche steadi 5 (3) Juveniles Adults
    089 Indian yellow-nosed Albatross Thalassarche carteri 8+ (6) mainly adults few immatures
    104 Australasian Gannet Morus serrator 10 (4)
    8698 Brown skua Catharacta lonnbergi 3 (2)

    106 Australian Pelican Pelecannus conspicillatus 8 (6) in harbour
    115 Crested Tern Sterna bergi 100+ (80)
    114 White-fronted Tern Sterna striata 2 (1)

    125 Silver Gull Larus noveahollandia 100+ (50+)

    21 species sighted outside the harbour

    Also seen were at least 5 Humpack Whales, Common Dolphins, and Oceanic bottle-nosed small pods 7-10, Striped Dolphin large pod 70+ animals, and Australian Fur Seals.

    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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