A superb sea watch today from Maroubra, NSW - 26th Feb 2005

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Subject: A superb sea watch today from Maroubra, NSW - 26th Feb 2005
From: "Edwin Vella" <>
Date: Sat, 26 Feb 2005 23:05:07 +1100

My original plan today (26th February 2005) was to spend a few hours birding in Sydney’s Royal National Park. However as the weather conditions appeared more suitable for sea watching than bush birding (as winds were moderate southerly from the start of the day), I only had a quick half hour look around the Royal in the early morning (having good views of a Southern Emu-wren and hearing both Chestnut-rumped Heathwren and Tawny-crowned Honeyeaters amongst others) and then headed quickly up to Maroubra which ended up being a good decision.


I spent 8 hours today (from 10:30 am to 6:30 pm) sea watching from Magic Pt, Maroubra (about 10km south of the Sydney CBD) with moderate southerly winds prevailing for most of the day. Rod Gardner also joined me for part of the time in the middle of the afternoon.


Today’s big highlight was seeing an unprecedented (?) number of 64 LONG-TAILED JAEGER, which may be the highest number of this species seen from land in Sydney! They appeared to be streaming south thoughout most of the day as singles, twos or small groups of up to 5 birds. While Rod was with me for 1 and ½ hours, we counted 20 Long-tailed Jaegers during that time alone. (I also heard from David Mitford that about 15 Long-tailed Jaegers was seen on today’s Wollongong Pelagic Trip). Pomarine Jagers was also seen in high numbers from Magic Pt today with 85 counted during the 8 hours but only 3 Arctic Jaegers were seen. Before mid afternoon, I had more Long-tailed than Pomarine Jaegers recorded, but the numbers of the Pomarine Jaegers managed to catch up later in the afternoon.


Other highlights from Magic Pt today included good views of a BULLER’S SHEARWATER, 2 very close in Sooty Shearwaters and a number of Fleshy-footed Shearwaters.


Late this afternoon, a feeding frenzy of hundreds of Shearwaters was seen with all 3 species of Jaeger present amongst them.


The species and minimum numbers seen from Magic Pt this afternoon were:


Fairy Penguin (heard calling below Magic Pt as usual)

Wedge-tailed Shearwater (2,000)

Fleshy-footed Shearwater (19)


Short-tailed Shearwater (25)


Fluttering Shearwater (5)

Australasian Gannet (44)

Little Pied Cormorant (1)

Little Black Cormorant (1)

Great Cormorant (2)

Pied Cormorant (1)

Arctic Jaeger (3)

Pomarine Jaeger (85)


Silver Gull (200)

Crested Tern (24)


I would also like to note that David Mitford saw another Streaked Shearwater the previous day from Magic Pt Maroubra but I unfortunately missed seeing one today (possibly too busy counting Long-tailed Jaegers!).


 Edwin Vella


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