• Saturday 10th October 2015, Sydney, Pelagic Trip Report, Sydney, NSW, Australia

    To all Participants in last Saturday’s Pelagic Trip

    Many thanks for supporting the trip on Saturday and my apologies for not being there as my wife had an accident a couple of days earlier and I was on nursing duties. Andy Wood kindly wrote a brief report of the trip with the bird list and this is attached below. Hope to see you on the boat again soon.


    Sydney Pelagic 10 October 2015
    A full load of birders spent a pleasant day in calm seas and warm weather. Although the variety of birds was a little less than normal, and there were no “rarities” seen, this was compensated for by large numbers of relatively hungry birds, especially Wandering Albatrosses, and perfect viewing conditions.

    After picking up at Mosman the Avalon IV left Rose Bay at about 0720. Wedge-tailed Shearwaters joined us as soon as we left the Heads and there were some around the boat all day, together with smaller numbers of Fluttering and a single Flesh-footed. Silver Gulls dropped away rapidly. A couple of pairs of humpback whales were seen but quickly vanished. Small flocks of migrating Short-tailed Shearwaters were seen along with a single Sooty. Both Fluttering and Hutton’s were seen, with many more of the former.

    Our first Albatross, a young Black-Browed, created the usual stir amongst the overseas visitors. We were joined by a few of these, none of which were Campbell’s, plus a couple of Shy Albatross, on the trip out. One Crested Tern put in an appearance. Also seen were a pod of Oceanic Bottlenosed Dolphins and a couple of pairs of Short-beaked Common Dolphins. None were too interested in bow-riding.

    We headed out into deep water beyond Brown’s Mountain and drifted there. We were soon joined by a Wandering Albatross, then another, and in the end up to ten simultaneously. They ranged from juveniles with almost entirely brown upper parts to adults, giving a good opportunity to see the plumage variation with age. Also seen in the drift were a few Wilson’s Storm-petrels, some Great-winged Petrels (all gouldi) and a few Providence Petrels. Just before leaving the drift for a cruise along the slick, a Cape Petrel provided excellent views, and stayed with us for a while.

    We cruised slowly north for a while, attracting albatrosses as we went, but seeing no further new species, we started our return. Some of the Wandering Albatross stayed with us well inshore. Again there were brief visitations from Short-beaked common and Oceanic Bottlenosed Dolphins and a couple of short pauses for Humpback Whales; one with whale-watching boats in attendance, before arriving back at Rose Bay around 1530.

    Silver Gull - 40
    Wedge-tailed Shearwater - 500
    Flesh-Footed Shearwater - 1
    Fluttering-type Shearwater - 100 (of which maybe 10% Hutton’s)
    Short-tailed Shearwater - 200
    Sooty Shearwater - 1
    Greater Crested Tern - 3
    Black-Browed Albatross - 5
    Shy Albatross - 2
    Wandering Albatross - 12
    Wilson’s Storm-petrel - 5
    Great-winged petrel - 20 (all gouldi)
    Providence Petrel - 5
    Cape Petrel - 1

    Oceanic Bottlenosed Dolphin
    Short-beaked Common Dolphin
    Humpback Whale

    Marlin sp.