Re: Migratory Shearwaters?

To: Klaus Uhlenhut <>
Subject: Re: Migratory Shearwaters?
From: Hugo Phillipps <>
Date: Thu, 26 Jun 1997 09:39:04 +1000 (EST)
Hi Klaus -

At 00:04 26/06/1997 +1000, you wrote:
>Dear pelagic-birding-aussers,I just had an inquiry from Germany in 
>regards to Shearwaters. This gentleman read apparently somewhere, that 
>near Boyds NP?

This would be Ben Boyd NP on the south-east coast of NSW.

>on the 27.9.1996 a flock of 600000 migrating shearwaters 
>was seen . As I am in the North and know nothing about seabirds (apart 
>from boobies, terns and frigatebirds). Is this a regular occurrence? Can 
>it be seen from the mainland?

The date corresponds to the time that STSHs are returning to their breeding
islands in Bass Strait.  The birds are coming from the north Pacific and are
presumably concentrated into a southward stream along the southern NSW
coastline before turning south-west at the south-east corner of the
Australian continent.  Green Cape in Ben Boyd NP should be an ideal place to
see the birds (could someone confirm this please?), but the time frame for
peak southward migration is only a few days - roughly the last week of
September.  The number mentioned (600,000) is probably around 2-3% of the
population and is quite plausible.  However, the birds would not be in a
real flock (in the sense of a socially cohesive unit), but just concentrated
by place, time and biological imperative.

Cheers,  Hugo.

Hugo Phillipps,
Birds Australia Conservation & Liaison,
Australian Bird Research Centre,
415 Riversdale Road,
Hawthorn East, VIC 3123, Australia.
Tel: +61 3 9882 2622. Fax: +61 3 9882 2677.
Email: <>
Web Homepage:

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