Macquarie Island News

Subject: Macquarie Island News
From: "Mike Carter" <>
Date: Sun, 5 Jan 2003 11:45:04 -0000

Bird sightings 4th December 2002 – 2nd January 2003


Southern Royal Albatross Diomedea epomophora epomophora A single bird off Secluded Beach, North Head on 1/1. The bird was observed with the aid of a spotting scope down to distances of about 100 m. (RHC).


Northern Royal Albatross Diomedea epomophora sandfordi A single bird off North Head on 31/12. Seen well with the aid of a spotting scope (RHC).


Shy Albatross Diomedia cauta cauta/steadi A single adult off South-west Point 29/12 (MS). Two adults off North Head on 31/12 (RHC).


Cape Petrel Daption capense A marked reduction in numbers with just one or two seen daily off North Head between 14/12 and 20/12. Nest site not checked (RHC).


White-chinned Petrel Procellaria aequinoctialis Two birds off Morgue Bay, North Head on the 1/1 in strong SE winds (RHC).


Mottled Petrel Pterodroma inexpectata 2 seen at sea off North Head on 14/12. A very high count of 24 passing Morgue Bay during a one hour count on the 1/1. Strong SE winds may have lead to these sightings (RHC).


Blue Petrel Halobaena caerulea Three sets of wings around a skua nest on Windsor Saddle. May suggest that the species is nesting on nearby stacks (MS).


Soft-plumaged Petrel Pterodroma mollis Daily sightings of 1-7 at sea off North Head. A high count of 13 on 1/1 in strong SE winds (RHC).


White-headed Petrel Pterodroma lessonii As this species breeds on Macquarie it hasn’t been included in previous monthly reports. Seen daily at sea, high counts of 30+ off South West Point on 29/12 (MS) and 23 off Morgue Bay on 1/1 (RHC) are noteworthy.


Wilson’s Storm-petrel Oceanites oceanicus 5+ off South West Point on 29/12 (MS).


Storm-petrel spp. Skeletal remains of a storm-petrel (tarsus and wing bones) around a skua nest on South West Point 21/12. Identity uncertain (MS).


Latham’s Snipe Gallinago hardwickii A single bird flushed off the track on North Head between the grave and Mawson’s Mast. Typical Gallinago snipe; explosive flush and rapid, low flight ending with a drop to cover. Tentatively identified as a Latham’s Snipe by large size and relatively long rear end. The bird may have arrived on the gale force north-easterly winds of the previous 24 hours.


MS = Martin Schultz, RHC = Rohan Clarke
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