Short-tailed shearwaters

Subject: Short-tailed shearwaters
From: Matthew Taylor <>
Date: Tue, 8 Dec 1998 15:12:47 +1100 (EST)
I too saw the huge passage of s-t shearwaters over the weekend, (while
sitting on the cliffs at North Head, Manly, watching four peregrines in
aerial play combat). Today I noticed  that there are still a small number
of s-t shearwaters within Sydney Harbour.  I am watching them as I write,
flying around Little Manly Point.  Apart from one individual that appears
too weak to fly (and has a spot of red at it's gape - injury?) the rest (c.
5 birds) are flying around apparently hunting/searching for several minutes
then resting on the water for a few seconds before taking off.  They do not
appear to be having any success at finding food.
Question(s):  Are they normally recorded so close in to shore, and in
sheltered harbours, or is this a response to the exhaustion of a tough
migration, mentioned by other posters?
What is their normal food and how do they catch it?  Plucked from the
surface in-flight?  While resting on the ocean?  Or do they dive for prey
like some of the other shearwaters?
I can find no reference in Pizzey & Knight or Slater(s)
Any ideas?

Matthew & Elizabeth Taylor
32/1 Addison Road
NSW 2095

Phone:  +61 (0)2 9977 3912
Mobile: +61 (0) 411 244544 (Matthew)
(Please note:  SYDNEY is currently 11 HRS ahead of UK time!!)

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