Report prepared by: Lindsay E. Smith.

    Departed: 0705 hrs
    Return 1610 hrs

    Sea conditions: Below 1 0m on a 1.5m swell from the east.

    Weather: Overcast for most of the morning 6/10 cloud clearing in the afternoon.

    Temperature range: 20-25 °C.

    Barometric pressure: 1016Hp

    Wind: ENE east 10 - 15 knots.

    Sea surface temperature: 21.0°- 24.6°

    Primary chumming location: 250 Fathoms


    An excellent summer’s days birding off Wollongong. Birds were about in good numbers including some “wished for” tropical species. The severe weather occurring along the northern NSW and south-east Queensland coast, plus a strong East Australian Current, had the birds coming south. We were very lucky with the weather. Persistent heavy rain had been falling south of Sydney for almost a week! The winds started at 10 knots, before increasing to 12-15 knots in the afternoon. We headed out under the influence of a high pressure system 1016hp over the coast

    There were very few birds inshore, a few Crested Terns and the occasional Fluttering, Hutton’s and Wedge-tailed Shearwaters. The Silver Gulls were conspicuous by their absence! (Most were on-shore, foraging no doubt, on earth worms in flooded playing fields.)

    Conditions for birds were generally good, however the early light was very poor making conditions far from ideal for seeing the birds. Five Black Swans flying north over the sea towards Sydney and 3 returning south soon after, were a quite unexpected sight!

    As we neared the Trap reef, a Black-winged Petrel created a bit of excitement as it appeared amongst the Wedge-tailed Shearwaters following the boat. Although it was distant, it gave all on board good, but all too brief views of this seldom encountered species.

    The banding team set to catching and marking Wedge-tailed and Flesh-footed shearwaters and Grey faced-petrels as part of our ongoing research programmes into these species.

    As we approached the shelf break we were soon accompanied by a throng of species, albatrosses, shearwaters, petrels, jaegers and terns. Sooty Terns both adults and juveniles were observed in pairs, consisting of an adult and a juvenile. A single White-necked petrel came in to join the melee coming in close to the boat giving all on board great views. A white Tern sighted in 80 fathoms on our return journey completed the list of tropical species for the trip.

    Birds recorded according to the Environment Australia Reporting Schedule:

    Species code: Species name:
    069 Wedge-tailed Shearwater Puffinus pacificus - 200+
    068 Fluttering Shearwater Puffinus gavia - 2
    913 Hutton’s Shearwater Puffinus huttoni - 2
    069 Short-tailed Shearwater Puffinus tenuirostris - 15
    070 Sooty Shearwater Puffinus griseus - 2
    072 Flesh-footed Shearwater Puffinus carneipes - 10+
    774 White-necked Petrel Pterodroma cervicalis - 1
    955 Black-winged Petrel Pterodromanigripennis - 1
    088 Black-browed Albatross Thalassarche melanophris - 1
    091 Shy Albatross Thalassarche cauta - 1
    106 Australian Pelican Pelecannus conspicillatus - 5
    115 Crested Tern Sterna bergi - 20+
    120 Sooty Tern Sterna fuscata - 4
    972 White Tern Gygis alba - 1
    125 Silver Gull Larus noveahollandia - 100+
    981 Kelp Gull Larus dominicanus - 1
    945 Pomarine Jaeager Stercorarius pomarinus - 5+
    128 Arctic Jaeger Stercorarius parasiticus - 1
    933 Long-tailed Jaeger Stercorarius longicaudis - 3
    203 Black Swan Cygnus atratus - 8

    Many thanks to Graham Barwell for keeping notes on the day see below.

    The banding team was hard at work during the day and managed to capture and band a number of shearwater’s and petrel’s for the day, these included some interesting recaptures.