Superb sea watch at Magic Pt, Maroubra (Sydney) NSW 29th June 2002

To: <>
Subject: Superb sea watch at Magic Pt, Maroubra (Sydney) NSW 29th June 2002
From: "Edwin Vella" <>
Date: Sat, 29 Jun 2002 21:18:02 +1000

Today, myself, David Koffel and David Mitford enjoyed what you would easily call an above average sea watch from that ?world famous? Sydney landmark, Magic Pt in Maroubra (approx. 10 km south of Sydney CBD and one of the world?s best sea watching spots!!). It was mainly overcast along this coastal stretch with winds from the south-west and very chilly (though no excuse not to get out of bird early for us determined sea birdos).


Today?s main highlights included good numbers of Albatrosses including excellent and lengthy views of a juv. GREY-HEADED ALBATROSS (personally only my sixthth or seventh sighting), large numbers of dark Pterodroma Petrels (about half positively identified as Great-winged Petrels), good numbers of Prions (many Fairy?s very close to the rocks), 6 juv. Giant Petrels and atleast 3 late Short-tailed Shearwaters. Mammal sightings included one Australian Fur Seal seen swimming below the cliff and brief sightings of 3 Humpback Whales.


With our scopes, we identified the Grey-headed Albatross at first from about 2 km away from the rocks and we followed it as it came closer and closer to us and eventually land within a few hundred metres from the rocks. Here it took over a dead cuttlefish (it looks as if it appeared to have smelt this dead carcass from atleast 2 km away) from a Black-browed Albatross, both a juv. Kelp and Silver Gull (all 3 of the later were initially feeding on the cuttlefish and none made no attempt to snatch it back from the Grey-headed Albatross next to them. There were also a few Fairy Prions circling around them and snatching the little tit bits from the surface. We watched the Grey-headed Albatross on the water feeding on the cuttlefish for atleast 5-10 minutes and then later slowly take flight again and heading south. Well before it disappeared out of sight, the Grey-headed joined a juv. Shy Albatross and we had both together in the same field of view through our scopes/binoculars.


Due to other commitments myself and David Koffel reluctantly headed back home at 2 pm. Therefore David Mitford may have seen more seabirds/mammals not accounted for in the list below. In the right conditions like today, sea birding can be very addictive in anticipating what might be seen next.


Birds species recorded (Note: numbers of some seabird species esp. Black-browed Alabtrosses, Gannets and Prions would be an under-estimate):


Fairy  Penguin (atleast one heard)

Black-browed Albatross (atleast 47)

Campbell Albatross (3)

Grey-headed Albatross (1 juv.)

Yellow-nosed Albatross (22, all race bassi)

Shy/White-capped Albatross (either cauta or steadi)

Giant Petrels (6 in total, possibly including 2 Northern and one Southern)

Great-winged Petrels (atleast 24)

Other dark Pterodroma Petrels unidentified (25 plus)

Fairy Prion (atleast 39)

Antarctic Prion (1-2 possible)

Other unidentified Prions (atleast 35)

Short-tailed Shearwater (atleast 3)

Fluttering Shearwater (atleast 6)

Australasian Gannet (250 plus)

Little Pied Cormorant (1)

Great Cormorant (6)

Brown Skua (1)

Kelp Gull (5, including 2 adults and 3 juv. birds)

Silver Gull (numbers not counted)

Crested Tern (15 plus)

White-fronted Tern (atleast 4)

Peregrine Falcon (2)

Eastern Reef Egret (4 included 2 had more obvious white in throat than the other 2)


Mammals recorded:


Humpback Whale (3)

Australian Fur Seal (atleast 1)



Edwin Vella



<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>

The University of NSW School of Computer and Engineering takes no responsibility for the contents of this archive. It is purely a compilation of material sent by many people to the birding-aus mailing list. It has not been checked for accuracy nor its content verified in any way. If you wish to get material removed from the archive or have other queries about the archive e-mail Andrew Taylor at this address: andrewt@cse.unsw.EDU.AU