13 October 2018 Report
The forecast on Saturday were for 2m seas and wind to 20 knots. Marginal conditions. Given the large numbers of Shearwater reported in the lead up to the day expectations were high. We left the heads into stiff northeasterly winds. The wave height was lower then predicted which allowed us to make it to the shelf without too much trouble. We departed the shelf after midday. A couple on board succumbed to the conditions. Sea water temperature was ~19 deg C.
With two passengers unaccounted for we left Rose Bay later than usual aboard the MV Avalon. The wind was apparent as we motored through the Harbour. With our usual throng of Silver Gull following a Common Tern was spotted behind the boat while we were still in the Harbour. Not long after leaving the security of the Harbour the first of the many Short-tailed Shearwater were seen. Several Wedge-tailed were also seen. None of the Shearwater showed any interest in the boat. With breeding in mind all were heading south at a great pace with the majority avoiding close approaches to the boat. A Greater Crested Tern made a flyby as did a couple of Australasian Gannet. We continued to berley throughout the journey.
Shy-type Albatrosses started to appear individually. They showed some interest but weren't overly hungry. The odd stream of Short-tailed Shearwater continued to be encountered as we motored to the shelf. Black-browed Albatross and an immature Indian Yellow-nosed Albatross joined us a little later.
Close to the shelf the first of five Wandering Albatross joined the boat. Four of which would stay with us, along with an adult Campbell Albatross, for most of the return leg.
On approach to Brown's - < 1NM away - a number of Humpback were seen breaching and tail slapping. Unfortunately that had ceased by the time we arrived. We set up a drift and it wasn't long before the first of the Providence Petrel were seen. The birds mostly kept some distance from the boat with a few close approaches. Grey-faced Petrel were also observed along with Wilson's Storm-Petrel. The latter giving some good views for all on board.
After exhausting the first drift we decided to move back over the seamount. Fortunately a few of the birds obliged. We stopped and set up another drift. Four of the five Wandering Albatross soon rejoined us along with the Campbell Albatross.
On the return leg we encountered a couple of rainy patches which quickly passed. During one of these squalls two distant Prion sp. were seen, identified as Fairy Prion from photos captured during the brief encounter. A very distant Jaeger sp. was seen but couldn't be identified due to the rain. More Humpback were observed close to the Heads. We arrived safely back to the Harbour after 3:45pm.
(Note that the numbers in parentheses represent the approximate maximum number of that species in view at one time)
|Wilson's Storm Petrel||12||(8)|
|Indian Yellow-nosed Albatross||2||(2)|
|Wandering Albatross (Gibson's)||5||(5)|
|Greater Crested Tern||5||(3)|
The next Sydney pelagic trip is scheduled for Saturday 10th November 2018 departing from Mosman at 6.45am and Rose Bay at 7.00am.
All information on our trips including dates and contact details can be found on the website at sydneypelagics.info
Book at firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also find us on Facebook and post photos at https://www.facebook.com/sydneypelagics
(Many thanks to Prue Reid and Ben Keen for photographs).