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).
Procellaria aequinoctialis Two birds off Morgue Bay, North Head on the 1/1
in strong SE winds (RHC).
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).
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).
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
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).
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
= Martin Schultz, RHC = Rohan Clarke