Report prepared by: Lindsay E. Smith + Graham Barwell

    Departed: 0705 hrs
    Return 1610 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: 14.0 - 23 0 °C.

    Barometric pressure: 1020Hp

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

    Sea surface temperature: 21.0°- 24.9°

    Current: from the North at 2.5 knots

    Primary chumming location: 200 Fathoms Lat 34 26 31 Long 151 19 57

    Conditions at sea were very comfortable and good for viewing. Two Little Penguins offered very good views shortly after leaving the harbour. The birds were generally well spread inshore and consisted mainly of the expected summer birds. Silver Gulls were in noticeably lower numbers throughout the day. Shearwaters, Terns were also in low numbers. Jaegers appeared to have headed off to their breeding grounds.

    A small pod of Bottle-nosed Dolphins, 3-5 individuals, were observed inshore, Common Dolphin pod offshore (5-8)

    The Wedge-tailed shearwaters were mostly young birds (fledglings with down still adhering to head and belly). These could be from the Five Islands Nature Reserve.

    Albatrosses were in good numbers for this early in the season. Shy, Black-browed, Campbell Island Albatrosses and Indian Yellow-nosed albatrosses were in unusually good numbers this early in the season. These included birds of several different ages.

    The banding team for the day was short-handed so unfortunately we were able only to capture a single male Yellow-nosed Albatross. This was fortuitous, as the bird was just beginning to moult primaries.

    Australasian Gannets were also in good numbers and were foraging actively in 85 Fathoms. Only 1 or two immature birds were observed, all others appeared to be adult or sub-adults

    Two Black-bellied Storm-petrels were observed among the migrating Wilson’s Storm-petrels.

    Graham Barwell has provided an account of the day below:

    Here's a list of what we saw on 28 April. As ever, I use the 2008 Christidis & Boles taxonomy but give subspecies names where species have been split by others. The numbers are conservative. "5+" (and similar) means "minimum 5 at any one time but likely a higher number over the day."

    We went out to 34° 26' 31" S; 151° 19' 57" E, 39.2 km E of the harbour, where we stopped in 300m+ pelagic waters and drifted several kms south in a 2 knot current and NW wind, 10.55-12.12 hrs, where we caught a Yellow-nosed Albatross. Water temp there was 24.9° according to the instruments on the boat. We then turned back in

    Wilson's Storm-Petrel 8+
    Black-bellied Storm-Petrel 1+
    Black-browed Albatross 10+ (at least 4 adult melanophris, 2 adult impavida, the remainder immatures)
    Yellow-nosed Albatross 17+ (all Indian Ocean carteri, 1 immature, the remainder adults)
    Shy Albatross 4 (most cauta, 1 possible steadi)
    Wedge-tailed Shearwater 8+
    Sooty Shearwater 1
    Short-tailed Shearwater 5+
    Providence Petrel 3+
    Little Penguin 2
    Australasian Gannet 20+
    Australian Pelican 4
    Pomarine Jaeger 1
    Common Tern 1
    Crested Tern c. 50
    Kelp Gull 4 (3 adult, 1 immature)
    Silver Gull


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