Seabirds, NSW 5/12/98

Subject: Seabirds, NSW 5/12/98
From: "P.J. Milburn" <>
Date: Mon, 7 Dec 1998 15:37:59 +0100
I was at sea with Carl Loves on Saturday on a SOSSA banding trip and apart
from 1000s of Slender-billed Shearwaters we encountered a number of other
species of note:

Black-winged Petrel 2, one bird follwed the boat for fully 5 minutes until
a second bird appeared.
Black Petrel 2
White-chinned Petrel 2, both with white chins AND throats!!!
Antipodean Albatross 1, an adult female.
Solander's Petrel 2, very late records.

A total of 18 procellariformes  for the day!!

With only 2 Flesh-footed Shearwaters behind the boat, they were outnumbered
by Procellaria Petrels!

With regard to Slender-billed Shearwater, Tony Palliser wrote:

Are these birds late?  what time of year have the big numbers passed
through in the past?  if so any ideas on why they are late this year?
Are they all exhausted because they were delayed somewhere?

The breeding population arrived on the normal date of course but  seemed to
be dispersed far offshore, a pattern similar to that observed for
Wedge-tailed Shearwater.  The arrival of the non-breeding hordes (many of
them young birds) off NSW tends to occur towards the end of October in most
years.  Rod Gardner witnessed a hefty passage on 18/11 but apart from that
this weekend seems to have been the big arrival.  In other words the
arrival is quite late but not ridiculously so.  A number of other species
have been very low in numbers also, the Jaegers and Flesh-footed Shearwater
to mention some examples.  A slight increase in Jaeger numbers also occured
this weekend, perhaps their numbers will increase soon.  With regard to
mortality it is too early to say if the numbers are large, certainly not
yet by historical standards.

Dr.Peter Milburn
Biomolecular Resource Facility
The Australian National University
GPO Box 334 Canberra ACT 0200  AUSTRALIA
Phone No.  <61> <2> 6249 4326
Fax No.    <61> <2> 6249 4326
E-mail Address  

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