10 October 2015 Report


A full load of birders spent a pleasant day in calm seas and warm weather. Although the variety of birds was a little less than normal, and there were no “rarities” seen, this was compensated for by large numbers of relatively hungry birds, especially Wandering Albatrosses, and perfect viewing conditions.


After picking up at Mosman the Avalon IV left Rose Bay at about 0720. Wedge-tailed Shearwaters joined us as soon as we left the Heads and there were some around the boat all day, together with smaller numbers of Fluttering and a single Flesh-footed. Silver Gulls dropped away rapidly. A couple of pairs of humpback whales were seen but quickly vanished. Small flocks of migrating Short-tailed Shearwaters were seen along with a single Sooty. Both Fluttering and Hutton’s were seen, with many more of the former.

Our first Albatross, a young Black-Browed, created the usual stir amongst the overseas visitors. We were joined by a few of these, none of which were Campbell’s, plus a couple of Shy Albatross, on the trip out. One Crested Tern put in an appearance. Also seen were a pod of Oceanic Bottlenosed Dolphins and a couple of pairs of Short-beaked Common Dolphins. None were too interested in bow-riding.

We headed out into deep water beyond Brown’s Mountain and drifted there. We were soon joined by a Wandering Albatross, then another, and in the end up to ten simultaneously. They ranged from juveniles with almost entirely brown upper parts to adults, giving a good opportunity to see the plumage variation with age. Also seen in the drift were a few Wilson’s Storm-petrels, some Great-winged Petrels (all gouldi) and a few Providence Petrels. Just before leaving the drift for a cruise along the slick, a Cape Petrel provided excellent views, and stayed with us for a while.

We cruised slowly north for a while, attracting albatrosses as we went, but seeing no further new species, we started our return. Some of the Wandering Albatross stayed with us well inshore. Again there were brief visitations from Short-beaked common and Oceanic Bottlenosed Dolphins and a couple of short pauses for Humpback Whales; one with whale-watching boats in attendance, before arriving back at Rose Bay around 1530.


(Note that the numbers in parentheses represent the approximate maximum number of that species in view at one time)

Wandering Albatross12
Black-browed Albatross5
Shy Albatross2
Wilson’s Storm-petrel5
Great-winged Petrel20(all gouldi)
Providence Petrel5
Cape Petrel1
Wedge-tailed Shearwater500
Short-tailed Shearwater200
Sooty Shearwater1
Flesh-footed Shearwater1
Fluttering-type shearwater100(of which maybe 10% Hutton’s)
Silver Gull40
Greater Crested Tern3


Humpback Whale
Oceanic Bottlenose Dolphin
Short-beaked Common Dolphin
Marlin sp.1

If you are interested in pelagic trips, all details of dates and contact details for making bookings are in the Sydney Pelagics website at http://www.sydneypelagics.info and you can also find details on Facebook and post photos at https://www.facebook.com/sydneypelagics