• 12th October 2002, Sydney, Pelagic Trip Report, Sydney, NSW, Australia

    Sydney Pelagic Report - October 12, 2002

    A very good turn-out of 34 birders attended the October Sydney pelagic trip on the MV Zane Grey (the MV Halicat currently visiting northern Queensland on a fishing trip). Unfortunately, only five local birdo's were among the big group on board - where are all the Sydney birders these days?

    Conditions were ideal with a light south-easterly, freshening and turning north-east in the afternoon. Water temperature was between 18.0 and 18.5 deg C, and sea state was about a half metre sea on a one metre swell. We left Rose Bay Wharf at 07.05 and motored out to the shelf with three berleying stops, one about a nautical mile west of Brown's Mountain, the second on Brown's Mountain and the third about three nautical miles east of Brown's. A leisurely 10knot cruise back into Sydney had us at Rose Bay at 15.50.

    The Birds

    A very good day in terms of both bird and species numbers, with a species count of 22. However, despite the constant feeling that something really good was about to turn up, the only minor rarity was a White-headed Petrel which did not stick around and was seen by only half the people on the boat. A couple of Brown Skuas were unusual this late in the year and the large numbers of Wandering Albatross feeding within a metre of the transom was a memorable experience for overseas birders who had not seen albatross before. Having seen Michael Hunter's comments on the Newcastle pelagic which was out on the same day but which went much further offshore, it once again raises the question of whether we should be venturing out further for more pterodromas!

    Southern Giant Petrel 1 (1)
    Cape Petrel 16 (6)
    Great-winged Petrel 35 (5)
    Providence Petrel 20 (3)
    White-headed Petrel 1 (1)
    Fairy Prion 8 (1)
    Wedge-tailed Shearwater 1500+ (750)
    Short-tailed Shearwater 100 (15)
    Flesh-footed Shearwater 25 (4)
    Fluttering Shearwater 70 (20)
    Hutton's Shearwater 30 (5)
    Fluttering type 200+
    Wandering Albatross 22 (9)
    Black-browed Albatross 18 (6)
    Yellow-nosed Albatross 6 (1)
    Shy Albatross (cauta) 1 (1)
    Wilson's Storm-petrel 14 (5)
    Australasian Gannet 12 (3)
    Brown Skua 2 (1)
    Arctic Jaeger 1 (1)
    Pomarine Jaeger 1 (1)
    Silver Gull 50 (10)
    Crested Tern 1 (1)

    The next Sydney pelagic will be on November 9th - contact Tony Palliser to book.


    Roger McGovern