I had a teaser to Pelagic birding when I went on a half day Pelagic out of Wollongong on the 12th July. I had so much fun I went on back to back Pelagics out of Wollongong on the 27th and 28th of July.
The boat named the Sandra K leaves from Wollongong Harbour at 7am and then travels out to the continental shelf which takes close to 4 hours. The purpose of the trip is to undertake seabird research. The researchers often catch seabirds using a large net and then bring them on the boat to process the bird. The boat then starts its journey back to shore and enters the harbour about 4pm.
On the Saturday the weather was very calm which created some beautiful smooth water. The only downside to the calm weather is many birds rely on the wind to enable them to fly easily. This didn’t seem to deter the Albatross as we were still treated to six species of Albatross being Wandering Albatross, Black-browed Albatross, Campbell Albatross, Shy Albatross, Bullers Albatross and Indian Yellow-nosed Albatross.
On the Sunday there was a lot more wind and we had high hopes for some good birds. We managed to get another Albatross species in the majestic Antipodean Albatross which breeds on the Antipodes Islands off New Zealand. I also added White-fronted Tern to my list and I had distant views of a White-faced Storm Petrel.
My list for the two days included the following 20 species;
Wandering Albatross (Diomedea exulans)
Antipodean Albatross (Diomedea antipodensis)
Shy Albatross (Thalassarche cauta)