Today was another great day sea watching off Magic Pt, Maroubra and is by far
my best without going off shore on a boat. This offcourse was with the great
help from the legendary Rod Gardner as well as Stuart White from the UK.
The day started off pretty quite with the seabirds as winds were mainly from
the south-west, but the bird activity was boosted during the afternoon, with the
winds tending straight south to south-east and especially within the last 2
hours of daylight ahead of a band of rain.
The first main highlights came about lunch time when a Northern Royal
Albatross flew past the Magic Pt headland and about the same time,
2 white-phase Southern Giant Petrels (both told apart from each
other by the amount of black speckling on their white plumage).
The best birding for the day was within the last 2 hours of daylight, where
due to the stronger winds and probably the rain, pushed several pelagic birds
closer to the coast, including several Shy Albatrosses, Cape
Petrels (a few within a hundred metres from the headland), Great-winged
Petrels (with it spectacular high arcs in flight), "Antarctic Fulmar" (a lifer for myself and Stuart),
3 species of Prions etc.
List of seabirds seen today were as follows :
Fairy Penguin (2 heard)
Black-browed Albatross (67)
Yellow-nosed Albatross (8)
Shy Albatross (8) (all juveniles)
Wandering Albatross (2)
Northern Royal Albatross (1)
Southern Giant Petrel (2 white-phases)
Other Giant Petrels (8)
Antarctic Fulmar (1)
Cape Petrel (11)
Great-winged Petrel (6)
Thin-billed Prion (1)
Antarctic Prion (1)
Fairy Prion (6)
Other Prions (14)
Fluttering Shearwater (200+)
Australasian Gannet (80)
Great Cormorant (6)
Little Black Cormorant (1)
Antarctic Skua (1)
Kelp Gull (1 Imm)
Silver Gull (300)
Crested Tern (40)
White-fronted Tern (9)
A Humpback Whale was also seen within 2 km from the shore.
In addition to the sea birds, a Peregrine Falcon, a Lewins Rail
(seen in the Bittou bush close to the Maroubra Life-savers Club car park),
Spotless Crakes (heard), 5 Greenfinches and a Tawny
Grassbird were also of note.