In July, I spent about 10 days on an oil field installation vessel
travelling to and from Darwin to about halfway to Kupang in West Timor and
sitting at that location while pipelines were installed. I did quite a bit
of watching, but saw relatively few birds. I have E-mailed a complete
report to David James, the new editor of the Australian Seabird Group
Newsletter, and hope it will be published in a forthcoming issue.
The most numerous bird (on one occasion only) was the Sooty Tern with about
200 seen feeding on schools of fish. In the evening on two occasions, near
a moored oil tanker, I saw mixed flocks of Wilson's and Matsudaira's Storm
Petrels, with numbers from 10 to 30 of the former and 1-3 of the latter. I
have seen Matsudaira's in the area before in 1987, but not quite so close.
Do I have to put in an unusual sighting report?
Other species seen were Wedge-tailed Shearwater (?), Brown Booby (?), Great
Frigatebird (?), Crested Tern and Bridled Tern.