12 October 2019 Report
The forecast for the day predicted challenging conditions. Waves were in the 2-3 metre range with winds mainly from the SE at over 15 knots. Sea surface temperatures were 19 C inshore warming another degree at the shelf. The day produced all of the expected species for a November trip except Pomarine Jaeger plus a couple of bonus highlights.
We left the Harbour more or less as scheduled with a mix of local and international visitors onboard weighted towards the latter. Silver Gulls showed some interest as we left the Harbour but soon departed as we made it away from the heads. Within 15 minutes of exiting the Heads the first of the many Short-tailed Shearwaters were seen. They avoided the boat altogether which was to be the norm for the remainder of the trip for much of these southward-bound Shearwaters. Well away from the boat a couple of Australasian Gannets were spotted. Two Wedge-tailed Shearwaters flew past the boat without stopping. A number of very distant 'Fluttons' were spotted but were unable to be identified.
There was little action while we headed out past the shelf drop-off. The little glimmers of excitement were mostly provided by the odd flock of fast moving Short-tailed Shearwaters with the occasional visit to the rear of the boat by Shy Albatrosses. As we approached the seamount a number of Pterodroma could be seen - these turned out to be Providence Petrel. Once at the seamount we set up a drift. As per the previous two trips Crested Terns were with us at the seamount. The first of five Wandering-types arrived on the scene. Wilson's Storm-Petrel also suddenly appeared from downwind. They were to be with us at each of the drifts we made. While marvelling at the Wilson's Storm-Petrel a BLACK-BELLIED STORM-PETREL winged its way past the stern following the same path the previous Storm-Petrels had taken when approaching the boat for the first time.
We continued to drift. The current was running quite quickly so the slick had already spread well beyond our field of view. More Albatrosses joined the crew with Indian Yellow-nosed, Buller's and Black-browed being added. Our excitement stepped up a notch or two when a COOK'S PETREL was spotted out the front of the boat. Fortunately the bird headed straight for us circling around the back of the boat before zig-zagging its way up the slick. We were to encounter the bird again later.
On the return trip Flesh-footed and Sooty Shearwaters were added to the day list. A single Northern Giant-Petrel made a few close approaches to the boat allowing it to be photographed. Around 12:50pm 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)
|Wilson's Storm Petrel||30||(20)|
|Indian Yellow-nosed Albatross||1||(1)|
|Wandering Albatross (Gibson's)||4||(2)|
|Northern Giant Petrel||2||(1)|
|Greater Crested Tern||4||(4)|
The next Sydney pelagic trip is scheduled for Saturday 9th November 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 thanks to Jodi Webber, Richard Webber and Greg McLachlan).