• 12th February 2005, Sydney, Pelagic Trip Report, Sydney, NSW, Australia


    Trip summary:

    A very pleasant summer's day for watching birds and cetaceans was enjoyed by the fifteen or so observers that went out on the Halicat from Sydney Harbour. The day was cool and sunny with very light easterly breezes which strengthened and backed to the south in the afternoon. Seas were calm on a 1.0m swell and water temperatures ranged from 21.5 deg C inshore to about 24.0 deg C at the shelf break, but even these benign conditions did not prevent one of our more illustrious birders from suffering a 'bout of queeziness' early on in the trip!

    It was a typical summer's day of birding with large numbers of shearwaters and Great-winged Petrels keeping everyone on their toes. We motored out to Brown's Mountain located 22.5NM east of Sydney Heads and berleyed at several locations in that area. As usual in the summer, we had a couple of really good sightings with close and extended views of GREY TERNLET being the highlight, and good views of a BLACK PETREL and an astonishing group of four LONG-TAILED JAEGERS being close behind.

    For the cetacean enthusiasts, two groups of Risso's Dolphins were the highlight and we also enjoyed good views of Short-beaked Common Dolphins and Oceanic Bottle-nosed Dolphins.

    Species list:

    Little Penguin 3 (2)
    Great-winged Petrel 70 (15)
    BLACK PETREL 1 (1)
    Wedge-tailed Shearwater 1000+
    Short-tailed Shearwater 32 (6)
    Flesh-footed Shearwater 200+ (25)
    Fluttering Shearwater 7 (2)
    Wandering Albatross 1 (1) gibsoni
    Australasian Gannet 5 (1)
    Great Cormorant 1 (1) in harbour
    Pied Cormorant 1 (1) in harbour
    Little Pied Cormorant 1 (1) in harbour
    Australian Pelican 1 (1)
    Arctic Jaeger 3 (1)
    Pomarine Jaeger 17 (4)
    Silver Gull 140 (30)
    Crested Tern 10 (4)
    GREY TERNLET 1 (1)

    The next trip will be on Saturday 12 March, 2005 and one of the people on board will be the well-known American pelagic specialist Debra Shearwater.

    Call Hal at 0411 311 236 to make a booking.

    Roger McGovern