Re: Short-tailed Shearwaters (are they late this year?)

To: Tony PALLISER <>
Subject: Re: Short-tailed Shearwaters (are they late this year?)
From: morris <>
Date: Mon, 07 Dec 1998 21:37:21 +1100
<Tony Palliser asked about the mortality of Short-tailed Shearwaters on
the NSW Coast>
Hi Tony,
I am sure that the Short-tailed Shearwater mortality on the NSW beaches
in late spring and early summer is of immature birds who are late
returning to the breeding islands of Bass Straight, SA & WA and Tasmania
because they are not nesting. Weakened by the trip across the Equator,
they get worn out buffetting the onshore Southerly and South- easterly
winds, that are a feature of our weather pattern at the moment. I
counted 42 dead and dying Short-tails on 2km of Birdie Beach, Munmorah
SRA today! Immatures/non breeders return throughout November & December
and those who passed through earlier had no problems, but the weather
patterns of the last 10 days have just worn the later arrivals out! I
don't subsribe to the idea that they have been delayed some where first!
There is nothing unusal about this mortality. Mortality has been fairly
light in recent years, when the conditions have been dryer, so this wet
year with all its late spring and early summer southerlies, is more
likely to produce a higher mortality. I am surprised that there has not
been more!

Alan Morris

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