Sydney Pelagic Trip

To: "" <>
Subject: Sydney Pelagic Trip
From: "Reitzin, Amanda" <>
Date: Tue, 12 Jun 2001 14:26:08 +1000
Went on the Sydney pelagic trip on Saturday, didn't see all that much but
what we did see was of pretty good quality - in the morning spotted 2 Little
Penguins floating happily in the water just past Manly, a few adult &
immature Australiasian Gannets, and 3 humpback whales (just off Maroubra
beach!) and an absolutely gorgeous immature Northern Giant Petrel that
landed in the water about 3m from the boat and sat there happily munching on
a pilchard that we threw into the water - an incredibly beautiful bird!

Then headed out to the shelf to try and catch a glimpse of some albatross.
By this time (about half 10, I'd been feeling a tad queasy for a couple of
hours already) I was in the full throes of sea-sickness, and as we headed
further out, I continued to feel worse (after losing what little food I'd
eaten that morning over the side) until I was completely written off by
midday and had to lie down inside the cabin where I remained, comatose and
too scared to move, for the next 3 hours. Luckily I didn't miss much - there
were a few little Providence Petrels doing acrobatics above the waves, and
some little Terns that followed the boat for a while, but it wasn't until
early afternoon that we had our first albatross sighting - a Black Browed
flew low above the boat - and then about an hour later we had a great view
of 3 more sitting in the water. We spotted 2 more humpback whales coming
back from the shelf, and as we approached the heads I started to feel a bit
better with land in sight, so ventured out on deck. This was where the
misery of the whole day vanished - I spotted some large birds in the
distance, soaring open-winged, low in the sky, just metres from North Head -
and my heart nearly skipped a beat as I called out to alert the others -
"White Bellied Sea Eagle!!" 

These magnificent birds hovered around the cliffs for a few minutes as we
turned the motor off and let the boat sit for a while - and then magically,
they both flew towards the cliff and alighted on a dead branch, in full view
of everyone on board, and posed for a full 10 minutes or so, their white
plumage gleaming in the afternoon sun - and a Peregrine Falcon buzzed around
overhead way above the clifftop.

Great day but definitely not doing that again! :)
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