Fin Whale washed up at Cottesloe Perth

Subject: Fin Whale washed up at Cottesloe Perth
From: "Frank O'Connor" <>
Date: Tue, 23 Jul 1996 19:56:16 +0800
Hi all,

A 50 tonne fin whale was washed up on the reef at Cottesloe yesterday
(Monday) morning.  I went there for an hour this afternoon.

The whale was very close to the shore.  There were 4 Giant-Petrels in the
vicinity, and on several occasions I saw a Cape Petrel fly along the waves
about 100 metres from shore.

I am not good at identifying the two giant-petrels.  A couple flew within
about 20 metres of me. All four were totally dark (no white on head, face,
belly, etc).  The bills were pale.  I looked for two tone colour on the bill
without success.  Looking in Harrison - Seabirds - an Identification Guide
suggests that they were juvenile (first stage) and that it is almost
impossible to distinguish the two species.

About a month ago, there was a TV news item on a dead Humpback Whale out to
sea north of Perth.  The short footage showed about 30 Giant-Petrels
(including a white one), 20 Cape Petrels and a few other birds (probably

About four weeks ago there was a single all dark giant-petrel at the north
mole of Fremantle harbour.  There were also two Flesh-footed Shearwaters on
the water about 20 metres from the mole and a distant albatross.

However, last weekend just after a big storm, during an RAOU outing we could
only find a few Great Skuas and about 10 gannets.  However, a Little
Shearwater and a Cape Petrel were picked up during the day nearby on Port Beach.

There is a big storm due to hit Perth overnight, so I will be going back to
the whale and the North Mole tomorrow to see if anything has been blown in.

Frank O'Connor                  Argyle Diamonds
8C Hardy Road                   PMB 11
Nedlands  WA  6009              West Perth  WA  6872
Phone   +09 386 5694            +091 671 445
Fax                             +091 671 438

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