• 11th September 2004, Sydney, Pelagic Trip Report, Sydney, NSW, Australia


    Trip summary:

    A very good day out on the ocean despite the less-than-ideal winds coming from the north-west at 15-20 knots. The weather was mostly sunny with occasional light overcast and 1 to 2 metre seas on a 1 metre swell. Water temperatures were quite warm in the 18 -19 degC range. A contingent of 25 birders, comprised about equally of a group of Swedish and Danish birders together with local birders and cetacean watchers, had a successful day with the highlight being great views of a dark-morph KERMADEC PETREL. After chumming in a stationary position at Brown's Mountain with only a small number of birds approaching the Halicat, we then proceeded to motor slowly in a north-easterly direction into deeper water and this brought immediate results with good numbers of birds appearing including a Kermadec Petrel which came up the wake to within 30 metres and then promptly disappeared. One or two disappointed souls who missed this brief appearance were rewarded 20 minutes later when what was surely the same bird returned and flew along the length of the boat at 10metre range with stunning views enjoyed by all. Other highlights of the trip were three White-headed Petrels (none of which approached closely unfortunately), Cape Petrels, good numbers of Wandering, Yellow-nosed and Black-browed Albatross, and large numbers of newly-returned and very hungry Wedge-tailed Shearwaters.

    An excellent day for cetaceans brought sightings of at least ten Humpbacked Whales, a pod of Long-finned Pilot Whales, Oceanic Bottle-nosed Dolphins and a huge pod (500-600) of Oceanic Common Dolphins, the latter putting on a spectacular jumping display close to the boat.

    Species List:

    Giant Petrel sp. 1 (1)
    Cape Petrel 5 (3)
    Great-winged Petrel 8 (2)
    Providence Petrel 12 (2)
    White-headed Petrel 3 (1)
    Wedge-tailed Shearwater 200 (20)
    Short-tailed Shearwater 1 (1)
    Fluttering Shearwater 400 (50)
    Huttons Shearwater 40 (5)
    Wandering Albatross 6 (3)
    Black-browed Albatross 20 (4)
    Yellow-nosed Albatross 14 (3)
    Australasian Gannet 40 (9)
    Silver Gull 25 (10)
    Crested Tern 35 (12)

    Next Sydney trip is Saturday 9 October and you can call Hal on 0411 311236 to make a booking.

    Roger McGovern