• Saturday 25th February 2012, SOSSA PELAGIC TRIP, WOLLONGONG, NSW, AUSTRALIA

    Saturday 25th February.2012 SOSSA PELAGIC TRIP, WOLLONGONG, NSW, AUSTRALIA.
    Report prepared by: Lindsay E. Smith.
    Departed: 0705 hrs
    Return 1600 hrs

    Sea conditions: Below 1-2m on a 1.0m swell from the east.

    Weather: Overcast for most of the morning 5 /10 cloud increasing in the afternoon.

    Temperature range: 19-27 0 C.

    Barometric pressure: 1020Hp

    Wind: ENE east 10 - 15 knots increasing to 25 knots in the afternoon.

    Sea surface temperature: 21.0- 25.1

    Primary chumming location: 140 Fathoms Lat 34 17 45 Long 151 23 04

    Summary:
    Conditions at sea were comfortable and good for viewing. The birds were generally well spead inshore and consisted mainly of the expected summer birds, shearwaters, terns and jaegers.

    On our way to the shelf, a Brown Booby caused great interest as it flew up our wake passing us on our starbaord.

    As the number of Flesh-footed and Wedge-tailed increased the banding team set to work. As I was the leader of the banding team for the day, Grahame Barwell has provided an account of the day.

    Hi Lindsay

    Here's a list of what we saw on 25 Feb. As ever, I use the 2008 Christidis & Boles taxonomy but give subspecies names where species have been split by others. The numbers are conservative. For the first two birds, the numbers represent the most seen at any one time, not the total number seen over the course of the day. For the others it's the total numbers seen over the day. "5+" (and similar) means "at least 5 over the day."

    We went out to 34 17' 45" S; 151 23' 04" E, 46.1 km ENE of Wollongong harbour in 280m+ shelf edge waters, where we stopped 11.45-12.26 hrs AEDST. The sea temperature offshore was 25.1. I didn't get an inshore temperature.

    Wedge-tailed Shearwater - c.150
    Flesh-footed Shearwater - c.150 (numbers of these and Wedgies were roughly even offshore; whatever the exact number, there were many more Fleshies than usual)
    Short-tailed Shearwater - 1
    Fluttering Shearwater - 5+
    Hutton's Shearwater - 1
    Great-winged Petrel gouldi - 2
    Australasian Gannet - 1
    Brown Booby (adult female) - 1
    Australian Pelican - 2
    Pomarine Jaeger - 5+
    Arctic Jaeger - 1+
    Long-tailed Jaeger - 3
    Crested Tern
    Kelp Gull - 1
    Silver Gull

    We also saw a pod of c. 20 Pygmy Killer Whales and a large Marlin sp. Someone called a flying fish too, but I didn't see this.

    Cheers

    Graham


    The banding team set to catching and marking Wedge-tailed and Flesh-footed shearwaters as part of our ongoing research programmes into these species. A large number of flesh-footed shearwaters and many wedge-tailed-shearwaters were banded during the day, including some interesting recaptures of some birds banded as chicks on the Five-Islands NR.


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