• Saturday 23rd January 2016 SOSSA PELAGIC TRIP, KIAMA, NSW, AUSTRALIA.

    Here's a list of what was seen outside the harbour on the SOSSA pelagic from Kiama on the MV Kato on Saturday 23 January 2016. It uses the BARC Australian Checklist (v2015 July based on IOC v5.2) for taxonomy, nomenclature & order of species and gives fairly conservative numbers. For the commoner species the numbers are estimates. There's also a .jpg file from Google Earth showing our route.

    Leaving at 07.30 hrs Eastern Daylight Savings Time, we headed slowly out into very choppy seas and steady rain. Conditions were difficult as an expected southerly change passed through in the morning bringing strong winds. Consequently we didn’t make it out to the shelf edge, spending our day at four chumming spots on the shelf within 14 km of the harbour.

    Fluttering Shearwater

    We travelled first SE out to 34° 44’ 38” S; 150° 55’ 24” E, 9.95 km from Kiama Harbour in 80m shelf waters, where we stopped and drifted 500m NE, 09.30-09.58 hrs, then continued NE to 34° 43’ 44” S;150° 55’ 47” E, 9 km from the harbour in 80m shelf waters, where we stopped and drifted a further 2.84 km NE, 10.33-11.50 hrs. We then tried to get out further east towards the shelf edge, travelling SE to 34° 44’ 18” S; 150° 59’ 02” E, 13.6 km SE of the harbour in 120m shelf waters, where we stayed for 20 mins or so until the rough conditions forced us to turn back in to slightly calmer waters at 34° 43’ 32” S; 150° 58’ 01” E, 11.5 km SE of the harbour in 100m shelf waters, where we stayed, 12.45-14.15 hrs, before proceeding back into the harbour, arriving earlier than usual at 14.55 hrs.

    White-capped Albatross

    Seas very choppy with waves up to 2 m, gradually easing. Sea temperature 23° on the shelf.

    Species seen, maximum at any one time in brackets:

    088 Black-browed Albatross 1 (1) adult
    Black-browed/Campbell Albatross 3 (2) immatures; photos of 1 bird appeared to show the beginnings of a pale iris indicating Campbell Albatross
    091 Shy Albatross c.5 (2) both cauta and steadi present
    075 Great-winged Petrel 2 (1) New Zealand breeding gouldi
    853 Streaked Shearwater 1 (1) distant views confirmed by photo; not seen by most on board
    069 Wedge-tailed Shearwater 25+ (5)
    070 Sooty Shearwater 3 (2)
    071 Short-tailed Shearwater 30+ (5)
    072 Flesh-footed Shearwater 150+ (50+)
    068 Fluttering Shearwater 10+ (1)
    913 Hutton's Shearwater 1 (1)
    096 Great Cormorant 1 (1)
    125 Silver Gull 5 (4)
    115 Greater Crested Tern 10+ (2)
    945 Pomarine Skua 6+ (3)

    We saw a small pod of c. 5 Bottle-nosed Dolpins on our way back into harbour.

    Graham Barwell