Sea watch from Magic Pt, Marounbra (NSW) - 22nd July 2001

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Subject: Sea watch from Magic Pt, Marounbra (NSW) - 22nd July 2001
From: "Vella" <>
Date: Sun, 22 Jul 2001 20:44:22 -0700

Responding to Rod Gardner’s note on potential good sea watching weather this weekend, I decided to brave both the cold and rain, by heading out to Maroubra (within 10 km south of Sydney CBD) for a satisfying day of sea watching. I was accompanied part of the time by both Rod Gardner and David Mitford, but stayed a bit longer after both had left till about mid afternoon.

There were several bands of rain throughout the day; driven by moderate SW winds, but these weather conditions were not as good as it can get for optimal sea birding. Despite this there were good numbers of Albatross (4 species atleast), hundreds of Fluttering Shearwaters and Australasian Gannets, fair numbers of Giant Petrels, but fewer Prions than in previous years. Many of the birds were seen quite well through the scope, and lots of Albatrosses, Giant Petrels, Shearwaters and a few Fairy Prions flew within 100 metres from the headland. I was told that there is alot of bait fish out there in the ocean which may account for the large numbers of Australasian Gannets. Can anyone further comment on this? Atleast 3 fishing trawlers were seen within 5 km from the coast, but not many birds were following them. What surprised me today was seeing a number of the Shearwaters hydroplaning over the water just like Prions do. I have not noticed this previously. Has anyone noticed this before?

Overall it was an above average sea watch with 17 full species of seabird seen today.

Seabirds Observed:

Fairy Penguin (1 seen and others heard)

Black-browed Albatross (100 plus)

Campbell Island Albatross (atleast 2 seen)

Yellow-nosed Albatross (20 plus)

Shy Albatross (6) (including a possible Salvin's Alabtross)

Wandering Albatross (1)

Southern Giant Petrel (2)

Northern Giant Petrel (2)

Giant Petrels unidentified (5)

Fairy Prion (5)

Prions unidentified (5 plus, including one possible Slender-billed)

Hutton’s Shearwater (50 plus)

Fluttering Shearwater (200 plus)

Hutton’s/Fluttering Shearwaters (1000 plus)

Australasian Gannet (300 plus)

Great Cormorant (4)

Antarctic Skua (3)

Pacific Gull (1) (possibly a 2nd winter bird)

Silver Gull

Crested Tern

White-fronted Tern (2)

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