SYDNEY PELAGIC REPORT - Sat, 9 Mar 2002
This was a great trip. Thirteen birders hung on while the Halicat pushed through a lumpy two metre swell with little to look at until we reached the 200 metre depth 17 nautical miles east of Sydney. As soon as we stopped for the first chum a Grey Ternlet appeared beside us and gave excellent views at close range. David Mitford put the observers onto a group of 12 Pygmy Killer Whales which breached on several occasions giving excellent views. The first of four Long-tailed Jaegers of the day stooged around us as Hal worked on his first slick.
David picked up a distant White Tern which kept its distance before it frustratingly evaporated against the cloud line. A feeding flock of mixed birds was located and distant views revealed trademark white underparts of rarities but they were determined to keep their distance. Perseverance by Cam brought them in range and when I had two White-necked Petrels in view with a Streaked Shearwater and two Grey Ternlets we thought it does not get much better than this. After half an hour where everyone enjoyed excellent views of all of these birds we stopped again. Then a Tahiti Petrel made a fly past at close range. A Kermadec Petrel (intermediate) was seen by several observers ( I dipped ) in a very credible claim. For the international birders the icing on the cake came when a recently fledged Wandering Albatross decided to follow us for a while. The last of the Long-tailed Jaegers was an adult with complete fresh tail streamers. With the swell behind us we surfed into Sydney.
Wandering Albatross 1 juvenile
Tahiti Petrel 1
Kermadec Petrel 1
Great-winged Petrel 10-all gouldi
White-necked Petrel 2- both showing uniformally dark under primaries, 33 59.364 S, 151 34.708 E, depth 217m, temp 22.7 C.
Streaked Shearwater 1
Wedge-tailed Shearwater 100 plus
Fluttering Shearwater 10
Short-tailed Shearwater 5
Flesh-footed Shearwater 100 plus
White-faced Storm-petrel 1
Pomarine Jaeger 20 plus
Arctic Jaeger 5
Long-tailed Jaeger 4
Grey Ternlet 3
White Tern 1
Pygmy Killer Whales 12, 34 00.907 S 151 33.525 E, depth 217m, temp 22.7C