14 September 2019 Report
Once again the forecast was for marginal conditions earlier in the day with SE winds around the 15 knot mark decreasing as the day progressed. Waves were to 2m. The on water experience fitted the predictions for the first half of the trip with a number of people succumbing to sea-sickness. Sea surface temperatures were between 17 and 18 deg C. The day produced all of the expected species for a September trip albeit in smaller numbers. Throughout the voyage we were continually distracted by the many Humpbacks encountered with two overly curious animals approaching and staying with the boat for some time while beyond the shelf. With plenty of food around the only birds which showed any real interest in approaching and following the boat closely while in pelagic waters were a handful of Greater Crested Terns at the seamount.
We left the Harbour as scheduled with a mix of local and international visitors onboard. Silver Gulls began following the boat whilst in the Harbour. Within 15 minutes of exiting the Heads the first of the odd Wedge-tailed Shearwater was seen. Hutton's Shearwaters were also quickly added with all traveling fast in a north-easterly direction. Well away from the boat an Australasian Gannet was spotted. A pair of Short-tailed Shearwaters flew past the boat without stopping.
Very little action was seen while we headed out past the shelf apart from the occasional Brown Skua and the odd passing Shearwater. About 1.5NM from the seamount we set up a drift near two whales who had remained stationary as we approached. Curiosity got the better of the sea mammals so they moved closer to the boat. While everyone was being entertained by the frolicking whales a single Wandering Albatross glided some distance from the boat to the north never to be seen again.
A number of Providence and Grey-faced Petrel were present at the shelf. None overly keen to sample the berley. An early season Flesh-footed Shearwater made an appearance but disappeared as quickly as it appeared. Shy Albatross were also seen, all young birds, along with Black-browed Albatross. A token Indian Yellow-nosed Albatross was seen completing all the expected species for September. We had one relatively close approach by a Northern Giant-Petrel before it peeled away to settle on the water nearby.
After motoring along the slick we decided to venture further east over the seamount. Unfortunately the birds didn't follow us. Another drift was executed with similar results to the previous. Around 12:30pm we turned westward for the journey back. We arrived safely back in the Harbour after 3:30pm.
(Note that the numbers in parentheses represent the approximate maximum number of that species in view at one time)
|Indian Yellow-nosed Albatross||1||(1)|
|Northern Giant Petrel||2||(1)|
|Greater Crested Tern||20||(12)|
|Inshore Bottlenose Dolphin||5|
The next Sydney pelagic trip is scheduled for Saturday 14th October 2019 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
(Photographs by Greg McLachlan).