• Friday, 7th July 2017, Swansea, NSW, Australia

    Swansea Pelagic Trip Report- Friday 7th July 2017

    Boat: 45ft Randell, skippered by Brad Minors

    Gentle offshore winds dominated the day, with freshening nor-westers approaching 20 knots around midday, but settling down to quite calm conditions for most of the ride home. Seas and swell below a metre.

    Campbell Albatross. Photo: Allan Richardson

    Departed wharf at 7:08am returning 4:04pm. We started a drift at -33.2208, 152.1632 and the offshore winds took us slowly into deeper water. Very little activity generally apart from some attendant Indian Yellow-nosed Albatross and some Black-browed types. No Pterodroma petrels or storm-petrels seen at all.

    Antarctic Prion. Photo: Allan Richardson

    10 species were recorded outside the heads. Highlights were a Campbell Albatross with a paler eye than one would normally expect to see on an adult bird and a likely Antarctic Prion which was seen rather poorly at a frustrating distance.

    Counts are totals for birds seen outside the heads (with the maximum number visible from the boat at one time in brackets) many are estimates. Taxonomy follows the BirdLife Australia Working List V2.

    Fluttering Shearwater: 2 (2) Both inshore.

    Northern Giant-Petrel: 2 (1) one bird was initially thought to be a Southern Giant due to the fact that scrutiny of images taken in situ appeared to show a greenish tinge but closer analysis later revealed this was actually a juvenile Northern. The other bird was believed to be an immature, in its second year.

    Black-browed Albatross: 4 (3) Most birds accompanied boat from inshore waters out to the shelf.

    Black-browed type Albatross: 2 (1) immature birds.

    Campbell Albatross: 1, first picked up inshore and followed us to the shelf. The bird appears of plumage and bill characteristics to be an adult, though the iris was not fully pale. Some suggestion in discussions that the bird could possibly be a hybrid with Black-browed.

    Indian Yellow-nosed Albatross: 30 (10) Reasonable numbers inshore, with a slow turnover of new birds in pelagic waters; one immature bird noted.

    Antarctic Prion: 1, About 30 minutes into the return leg a prion was spotted off the port side, landing on the surface about 100m from the stern. Hopeless views were obtained and from the half-decent images obtained the bird clearly has a dark face with clear supercilium, steep forehead, clean flanks and limited black in the tail.

    Australasian Gannet: 45 (20) Small numbers throughout the day.

    Crested Tern: 50 (40) A small number of birds were faithful to the boat for the entire day, with numbers swelling close to the heads on return leg.

    Silver Gull: 200 (150) Most birds emanating from Moon Island on the return leg.

    White-bellied Sea-eagle: 2 (1) One sub-adult bird perhaps 5 miles out from the heads, the second (a younger bird) much closer to shore. First bird had a crack at a IYNA.


    Humpback Whale: ~10, no really close views