Gannets nesting and Shearwater ID near Point Wilson Explosives Pier (Vic

To: "Brian Fleming" <>, "BIRDING-AUS" <>
Subject: Gannets nesting and Shearwater ID near Point Wilson Explosives Pier (Vic).
From: "Mike Carter" <>
Date: Tue, 10 Dec 2002 10:57:29 -0000
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.

Mike Carter
30 Canadian Bay Road
Mt Eliza    VIC     3930
Ph:  (03) 9787 7136

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