sea-watch at Central Coast

To: "Birding-Aus" <>
Subject: sea-watch at Central Coast
From: "Robert Quinan" <>
Date: Fri, 20 Jul 2001 16:39:31 +1000
Hi everyone.
Had a great day's sea-watch from Soldier's Pt. today (20/7) with the undoubted highlight being a possible juvenile Northern Royal Albatross.  Clearly seen for about one minute in close (~300-500m).  Sighted black leading edge on underwing from carpal joint to wingtip.  Back was white flecked with black or brown and the tail had some black on it.  Upper wings black.  Head appeared clean white. Only concern for a positive ID were two very small pale spots near bases of upper wings which would tend to indicate a juv. Wandering A. I thought that the black leading edge on underwing was diagnostic for N. Royal A. but some of my books show this same feature on the Wandering A.  For example, there is a photo in The Seabirds of Australia volume of the National Photographic Index of Aust. series showing a Wandering A. with this same feature (see Page 80).  Can anyone clear this up for me?  If not it will have to stay a possible sighting only.
Other birds were:
~30-40 each of Black-browed and Yellow-nosed Albatross
4-6 Shy Albatross
1 Great Skua
1 unidentified Jaeger (all dark)
Hundreds, perhaps several thousand, Fluttering type Sheawaters.  Try as I might I can't convince myself that I'm seeing any Hutton's.
A dozen or so Prions of unidentified species.
Gannets, of course.
And interestingly, a Striated Heron flew onto the rocks below.
 With the S-SW winds set to continue it's worth a look.  I'm going out again tomorrow, weather permitting.
Bye for now.
Robert Quinan
Central Coast, NSW, Aust.
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