Report prepared by: Lindsay E. Smith.

    Full Day Trip with members of the Illawarra Birders Club

    Departed: 0730 hrs Return 1600 hrs
    Sea conditions: 1-2 metre. Swell 2.0m from the South West South tending South in the afternoon.
    Weather: Fine and overcast most of the day.
    Temperature range: 10.0 - 18 0 C.
    Wind: NW 15-20Knts in the morning tending to South-West 10-12 Knots in the afternoon
    Sea surface temperature: 19.8 C
    Current from the North at 1.5 knots


    After almost a week of strong west to south west winds which had passed through the region in the past two weeks, following on from two low-pressure systems. Conditions at sea were quite comfortable there were low numbers of expected winter birds inshore. Whilst out beyond the Continental shelf, Great views were to be had of Solanders (Providence) Petrels which were resplendent in their breeding plumage. For this is the breeding season for them at Lord Howe Island.

    Albatrosses were well represented with six species recorded on the day the highlight being, two Wandering Albatrosses and two Northern Giant Petrels putting in an appearance.

    An unexpected highlight of the day was the unusual occurrence of a Short-tailed Shearwater. (Most Short-tailed Shearwaters are in the Northern Hemisphere on migration at this time of the year.

    Prions and Brown Skuas in particular were conspicuous by their absence.

    In all a good introduction to pelagic birds off the Illawarra coast at this time of the year.
    Thank you to all who supported the trip. We hope that you found it interesting and will join us again soon


    Bird List for the day

    Species code: Species name
    929 Northern Giant-Petrel Macronectes halli - 2
    971 Providence Petrel Pterodroma solanderi - 3-5
    861 White-capped Albatross Thalassarche steadi - 8 (N.Z. Shy Albatross)
    086 Wandering Albatross Diomedea exulans - 2
    068 Fluttering Shearwater Puffinus gavial - 1 (Inshore on return trip)
    070 Sooty Shearwater, Puffinus griseus - 1 Unusual at this time of year
    088 Black-browed Albatross Thalassarche melanophrys - 15+ Juvs, Imm sub adults + Adults present.
    089 Indian Yellow-nosed Albatross Thalassarce carteri 8+ Imm. Juvs and adults present
    859 Campbell Albatross Thalassarche impavida - 3 1 adult +2 Imm
    091 Shy Albatross Thalassarche cauta - 1 (Tasmanian Shy Albatross)
    104 Australasian Gannet Morus serrator - 30-40 all ages, Imm- adult present
    097 Little black Cormorant Phalacrocorax sulcirostris - 3 Harbour
    096 Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo - 2 Harbour
    106 Australian Pelican Pelicanus conspicillatus - 3 Harbour
    125 Silver Gull Larus novaehollandiae - 40+ Harbour (20 at Sea)
    114 White-fronted Tern Sterna striata - 2
    115 Crested Tern Sterna bergii - 12+ (Six riding on the Bow rail)