Cape Gannet

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Subject: Cape Gannet
From: "Robert Farnes" <>
Date: Thu, 16 May 2002 21:55:33 +1000
Lawrence Rock
15 May 2002 I visited Lawrence Rock (10 kms south of Portland) with Marcel Hoogantinck from Parks Victoria to check on the Cape Gannets.  As we approached we could see 100's of Australasian Gannets feeding at sea and there were also a few thousand resting on top of Lawrence Rock so we thought we were in with a chance of finding a cape among them. Cameras had to stay behind on the boat as the weather was getting worse making landing difficult and the exit 2 1/2 hrs later nearly impossible. We eventually found one Cape Gannet and a short time later another nearby observed from 3-4m they were in an area called the saddle same place seven were recorded in Jan 1995 and where Marcel had seen them on previous trips when banding A. Gannets.
Main features  id. M. capensis from M. serrator  both have the blue eye ring but cape has a paler iris and much blacker facial mask- Gular throat stripe is much bolder and longer in the cape this is very obvious when the birds oblige and point their bills up which they often do-also cape has an all black tail a good pointer but not diagnostic as some A. Gannets have this feature, we did see two A. Gannets with all black tails.
Very few other sps.
White-bellied Sea-Eagle (2) Imm., Little Penguins (3), White-faced Heron (4), Silver Gull (9). Welcome Swallows (sev.), Black-faced Cormorants (35+).  Also a freshly killed partly eaten (albinistic) Short-tailed Shearwater was collected it's outer 2-3 primaries were pure white.  Common Dolphins up to 10 on the way out close to L. Rock.

Rob. Farnes

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