Re: Ashmore Reef Pelagic October 2001

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Subject: Re: Ashmore Reef Pelagic October 2001
From: "George & Lindsey Swann of Kimberley Birdwatching" <>
Date: Wed, 31 Oct 2001 20:17:37 +0800
Paul Walbridge, Chris Collins (UK), Chris Barnes, Bill Moorhead, Barry
Bucholtz, Andrew Stafford and myself (Mike Carter) have just returned from
the first of this years Kimberley Birdwatching's Ashmore Pelagics (21-28
October 2001).

Compared with previous cruises (my fourth), it was windier, therefore rather
rougher seas, and considerably cooler, much less oppressively hot and humid.
Bird densities were well down but diversity was as good or better than
previous trips.  All icon species were recorded with some exceptional

Firstly on West Is., Ashmore, (a research permit allowed complete access),
Chris Barnes found and recognised an Arctic Warbler.  Persistent pursuit
revealed three were present.  Video record of all three was obtained by
Chris Collins.  According to some literature studies since our return,
although a few characters better fit Two-barred Greenish Warbler, the
overwhelming evidence proclaims they were Arctic Warblers.  (BARC sub by
Chris Barnes).

Three more of the very rare Jouanin's Petrels were seen (BARC sub. by Andrew
Stafford).  23 Bulwer's Petrels were seen but only 7 Swinhoe's and 2
Matsudaira's Storm-Petrels (BARC sub. by Paul Walbridge).  A Leach's
Storm-Petrel gave excellent views at 20m range (BARC sub by Mike Carter).
Only one Streaked but 34 Hutton's Shearwaters were logged.

Notable among others in the total list of 77 species, were 5 Long-tailed, 1
Arctic and 5 Pomarine Jaegers, 3 Arctic Terns, 29 Tahiti Petrels, 4
Red-footed and 4 Masked Boobies.  5 pairs of Red-tailed Tropicbird were
nesting on West Is., Ashmore, and a pair of White-tailed were prospecting

Mike Carter

George Swann
Kimberley Birdwatching
P O Box 220, Broome  6725
Western Australia
Tel/Fax (08) 9192 1246
Web site:

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