• Saturday 12th December 2017 SOSSA PELAGIC TRIP, KIAMA, NSW, AUSTRALIA.

    Report 12 December SOSSA pelagic trip – Kiama
    Vessel: M.V Kato

    Left the wharf at 7:45, returning at 15:30. Overall a quiet day with low wind and a slight swell that dropped off during the day. Primarily 2 stops, one at the shelf in 350+ fathoms, the second on the way back in at 70 fathoms. Cloud cover was quite varied over the course of the day, with 100% coverage at times, right through to bright sunshine.

    White-chinned Petrel

    Birds observed as follows:
    Australasian Gannet – 1 (1) seen in the morning close to shore
    Fluttering Shearwater – 2 (2) on the way out. The only ones seen for the day
    Shy Albatross (all observed were steadi) – 30+ (7+) observed all day. There were a small number around at most times, but not overly hungry. It wasn’t until we stopped in 70 fathoms on the way back in that a few landed on the water near the boat.
    Short-tailed Shearwater – 200+ (30+) migrating birds still heading south. Did not show much interest in the boat.
    Wedge-tailed Shearwater – 50+ (10) small numbers around at most times during the day. Did not seem hungry and did not often come close to the boat.
    Flesh-footed Shearwater – 5+ (2) small number when stopped at the shelf and at the 2nd stop in 70 fathoms.
    Buller’s Shearwater – 1 (1) observed briefly at the shelf berley stop. Did not approach the boat.
    Grey-faced Petrel – 20 (5) first observed at the shelf and a few followed the boat back to the 70 fathom mark.
    White-chinned Petrel – 1 (1) originally identified as a Black Petrel. Similar in size to the Grey-faced, with toes projecting beyond the tail. Examination of photos showed a white chin. Was with the boat for 15 minutes while stopped at the shelf stop.
    Wilson’s Storm-petrel – 12+ (7) all sighted at the berley stop at the shelf
    Black-browed Albatross – 1 (1) a juvenile at the shelf.
    Pomarine Jaeger – 1 (1) briefly sighted at the 70 fathoms stop. Did not approach the boat.
    Crested Tern – 10+ (5) first observed at the shelf, then at the 70 fathom stop.
    Sliver Gull – 50+ (50+) on the water just outside the harbour on the way back in.

    A pod of approximately 6 were sighted on the way back in, but could not be identified. They looked like large dolphins and were mostly white.

    Grey-faced Petrel