Here's a list of what we saw on the boat outside the harbour on Saturday. I’ve used the BARC Australian Checklist (v2014 Jan. based on IOC v4.1) for taxonomy, nomenclature & order of species and give my usual fairly conservative numbers. For the commoner species the numbers are estimates.
Leaving at 07.15 hrs we travelled out to 34° 23' 39" S; 151° 19' 31" E, 38.6 km E of the harbour in 270m+ shelf edge waters, where we stopped, drifted south, went back up the slick, stopped and drifted south again 5km in the strong current to 34° 26' 19" S; 151° 19' 05" E in 300m+ pelagic waters, chumming and using cod liver oil to attract birds, 11.16-12.24 hrs, before we turned back in for the harbour with only a brief stop to give way to a container vessel before arriving back at 16.00 hrs. Seas were quite bumpy on the way out but moderated as the wind began to drop in the late morning. Sea temperature was 22.7° inshore and 24° at the shelf edge.
White-faced Storm-petrel. Photo: Rob Hynson
On the way out and on our return we caught and banded mainly Flesh-footed Shearwaters, along with Wedge-tailed Shearwaters and one unusually plumaged Campbell Albatross.
Maximum number at any time in brackets
088 Black-browed Albatross - 4 (4) all adults including one banded bird which we didn't catch
Black-browed Albatross type - 1 (1) juvenile
859 Campbell Albatross - 2 (1) all adults including 1 bird with a very dark underwing, pale grey neck and face
971 Providence Petrel - 3 (2)
069 Wedge-tailed Shearwater - 70+ (30)
071 Short-tailed Shearwater - 1 (1)
072 Flesh-footed Shearwater - 80+ (40)
068 Fluttering Shearwater - 1 (1)
063 Wilson's Storm Petrel - 20+ (5)
065 White-faced Storm Petrel - 112+ (100+)
104 Australasian Gannet - 5+ (2)
100 Little Pied Cormorant - 1 (1)
125 Silver Gull - 100 (50)
981 Kelp Gull - 2 (2)
115 Greater Crested Tern - 10+ (7)
Several Australian Fur Seals were seen in the water and one was resting on the rudder of one of the moored ships. A small pod of Common Dolphins was seen near the harbour on the way back in.