I'm just back from my first scheduled birding trip for 2016: to Kiama, to do a pelagic, hoping for a White-necked Petrel. No luck, I'm afraid. In July 2013, I remarked that I had five bogey birds - these are birds I have looked for again and again and again, with no luck. Since then, I have managed to see four of those five miscreants. Only the White-necked Petrel remains on the list. This was my eleventh failed attempt to see it. Perhaps I never will.
This was my first SOSSA trip out of Kiama on the boat Kato. It was a good, safe boat, with plenty of seating. However, I found it extraordinarily difficult getting on and off, even with three strong men assisting me. Embarking involves climbing down a ladder (easy), crossing a short ramp (piece of cake), then jumping onto the unpredictably heaving boat over about a metre of surging waves (impossible!). To think I achieved all that and still didn't see my White-necked Petrel! In fact we had very few birds all day: some shearwaters (including one very welcome Streaked Shearwater), some Grey-faced Petrels, a couple of albatross and one Arctic Jaeger. I had just ten species on my list for the day. Some people got excited about marlin, there was at least one whale sighted and several dolphins.