Hi all,

    Here is the trip report for the Sunday SOSSA trip, 25th August 2013. I did not
    keep detailed notes and do not have GPS co-ordinates so this is an 'unofficial'
    list (refer to the SOSSA website for more information when the trip report is
    posted there).

    Conditions were apparently somewhat calmer today than yesterday, though a
    promising (and cold) stiff sou-wester was in our backs for the journey out.
    Black-browed and Shy-type Albatrosses accompanied us for the trip seaward, with
    flocks of loafing Fluttering Shearwaters encountered every now and then. One
    bird was identified by a few observers as a likely Hutton's. On the edge of one
    of these flocks was a Common Diving Petrel that only 2 people got onto. Small
    numbers of Fairy Prions and Wedge-tailed Shearwaters were also inshore, along
    with a single White-fronted Tern (incorrectly reported on Colin T. Richardson's
    Eremaea list as 'White-winged Tern' - Colin, if you're out there, can you
    change this??). A "shape" seen on the surface a few times and eventually almost
    directly beneath the boat was identified as a Dwarf Minke Whale.

    It wasn't until we were at or near the shelf break at about 1030 that a
    'different' albatross was seen. A "Wandering-type Albatross!" was called but it
    soon became evident that it was a Northern Royal Albatross. The bird initially
    shaped to come into the boat but banked and continued south away and out of
    sight (most people I think had reasonable to poor views). As it turned out,
    this was later shown to be the same bird seen the day before.

    Some nice fresh juvenile White-capped Albatross were now circling the boat,
    with one captured and banded. A Brown Skua and a Northern Giant Petrel also
    joined the attendant albatross but there was no sign of any storm-petrel or
    Pterodroma at all (for me personally, the 5th east coast pelagic in 2013 with
    no Pterodromas). Numerous Humpback Whales kept the punters entertained.

    Diversity and numbers were commented on being lower than yesterday. Then a
    fishing trawler was noticed well out to sea, headed for port. We changed
    position (not necessarily towards the trawler either) and within minutes a
    steady stream of albatross were headed for the Sandra K and there were soon
    40-odd albatross sitting on the water, with others still circling. Amongst
    these were several Wandering-type Albatross, the first for the day (at around
    midday). These consisted of mostly D. exulans birds, with a few D. antipodensis
    gibsoni amongst them. One magnificent adult exulans was caught, measured and

    The trip back to port was largely uneventful apart from a second Common Diving
    Petrel, a second White-fronted Tern and more flocks of Fluttering Shearwaters.
    Vain attempts were made to capture the Brown Skua which was now faithful to the

    Looking at the the list/count from Saturday, it appeared that today saw larger
    numbers of albatross (perhaps owing to the trawler) but much lower diversity.

    Mick Roderick

    Species sighted:

    086 Wandering Albatross 12; at least 1 banded
    846 Antipodean Albatross _gibsoni _4
    973 Northern Royal Albatross 1
    088 Black-browed Albatross 30+ (no Campbell seen); at least 1 banded
    091 Shy Albatross _cauta _20+ (identification made on moult patterns)
    861 Shy Albatross _steadi_ 4 juv; 1 banded
    864 Indian Yellow-nosed Albatross 3
    937 Northern Giant Petrel 1
    083 Fairy Prion 50+
    069 Wedge-tailed Shearwater 15+
    068 Fluttering Shearwater 500+
    913 Hutton's Shearwater 1 (maybe others overlooked?)
    085 Common Diving Petrel 2
    104 Australasian Gannet 5+ (incl 1 juv)
    125 Silver Gull many
    980 Brown Skua 1
    981 Kelp Gull 2 adults
    115 Greater Crested Tern 10+
    114 White-fronted Tern 2
    131 Sooty Oystercatcher ('Red-billed Black Petrel') 1

    Short-beaked Common Dolphin 5+
    Humpback Whale 25+
    Dwarf Minke Whale 1
    Fur Seal 5