In response to Anthea Fleming re seabirds in Port Phillip Bay,
> On the last of the green piling channel markers off the Explosives Pier
> was a small group of Gannets. With them was at least one fluffy
> juvenile, still in down, which cannot possibly have flown there.
Gannets now nest on several structures in the Bay, not just the Wedge Light
and Popes Eye.
> There were also some slightly smaller dark Shearwaters flying in similar
> style to the Short-tailed but with more flutter between glides - they
> had white bellies and also white wingstripes intermittently visible,
> particularly in the fluttery flight. The throat and upper breast seemed
> dark - as far as I could tell, given that by this time spray had settled
> on both spectacles and binocular lenses. I was intensely frustrated
> because they were just too far away to get a decent view of them, and of
> course the ferry wasn't stopping. Can anyone identify them from this
> inadequate description?
Both Fluttering and Hutton's Shearwaters have and can occur in the Bay but
since Fluttering is by far the more abundant, that is probably what you saw.
Here's a hint. When at sea, carry a bottle of fresh water. Periodically pour
over your spectacles to remove the salt. And if you go often, have a pair of
waterproof binoculars and treat similarly.
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