Here's what was seen outside the harbour on the shortened SOSSA pelagic from Kiama on the MV Kato on Saturday 23 July 2016. The list uses the IOC Checklist v6.2 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 Kiama Harbour at 07.25 hrs AEST, we headed SE to inshore shelf waters, since the very strong westerly wind prevented our attempting to reach and return from the shelf edge with any degree of comfort and safety. In 50-70 m+ waters we made a series of zig-zags very loosely parallel with the shore, but coming closer inshore each time, and eventually stopped at 34° 41’ 42” S; 150° 53’ 58” E, 4.5 km SE of Kiama Harbour at 09.52 hrs. There we chummed and banded an adult Indian Yellow-nosed Albatross. Having drifted with the wind and current c. 1.4 km SE in the 40 mins or so we were stopped, we then turned back into harbour, since we were unable to go out further, and arrived back at the dock at 11.00 hrs. Seas were 1-1.5 m, rising to 2 m in the strong wind further out; sea temperature was around 19°.
Good numbers of Black-browed Albatrosses and a Providence Petrel, unusual this close inshore, were the highlights.
Species seen, maximum at any one time in brackets:
088 Black-browed Albatross 25 (18)
Black-browed/Campbell Albatross 2 (2) immatures
091 Shy Albatross 3 (3)
864 Indian Yellow-nosed Albatross 1 (1) bird caught and banded probably male (based on an estimate of its weight in hand)
Prion sp. 2 (1) probably Fairy Prion, but only distant views so not confirmed
971 Providence Petrel 1 (1)
Shearwater sp. 1 (1) distant views with poor visibility
104 Australasian Gannet 10 (3) all adults
096 Great Cormorant 1 (1) just outside the harbour
125 Silver Gull 20 (20)
115 Greater Crested Tern 10 (5)
We saw no cetaceans or seals.