MAROUBRA (Mistral Point) AND ROYAL NATIONAL PARK - 4TH JULY 1998
With all the great sea birds reported off the Maroubra area during the last
2 weeks, I decided to give it a try myself on Saturday morning, but
conditions had unfortunately calmed down by the weekend. I joined Tony
Palliser and Rod Gardner in the hope of finding something of interest off
Mistral Point. There were still a few Black-browed Albatross and Fairy
Prions, a fair number of Fluttering Shearwaters and White-fronted Terns,
aswell as 3 Kelp Gulls passing by. However, birdingwise the highlight was
watching a pair of Peregrine Falcons fly out to sea then harass a Fairy
Prion with one of the birds snatching the Prion with its powerful talons
from the water then taking it to the cliffs to feed on. I also saw that the
Peregrine that caught the Prion passed the prey to its mate in mid-air just
after catching it. (Amazing !). Also a spectacular highlight were atleast 4
Humpback Whales migrating north within a few kilometres from the coast
(could see them spouting water, their heads, fins and huge tail) aswell as a
few Common Dolphins.
My main plan for the day was to show a South African birdo some of our birds
who I met at Maroubra just before lunch. We spent the rest of the Afternoon
in the Royal National Park and some of the highlights were (off which most
were new to the South African) - 1 Brown Falcon, 1 Beach Stone-curlew, Wonga
Pigeon, atleast 5 Bassian Thrushes, Southern emuwrens, several Tawny-crowned
Honeyeaters, Varied Sitellas and a Superb Lyrebird bathing in Bola Creek
which later preened itself including its glorious tail. Pilotbirds, though
heard could not be enticed into view.
We spotlighted upon dusk without success with the hope of seeing a Greater
Sooty or Masked Owl. We heard Sugar Gliders calling but we did not see or
hear anything else which may explain for the absence of the Owls.
However, all quite an enjoyable day with varied wildlife.