Macquarie Island 21-24 Nov 06

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Subject: Macquarie Island 21-24 Nov 06
From: "Dion Hobcroft" <>
Date: Wed, 20 Dec 2006 14:51:30 +1100
Hi All,
On the recent Heritage Expeditions Subantarctic Island voyage we visited
Macquarie Island. Birds we observed in the Australian economic zone and
on the island were:
King Penguin: (1000) at Sandy Bay and (200) Buckle's Bay.
Gentoo Penguin: (1) at sea on 22 Nov and (100) Buckle's Bay.
Rockhopper Penguin: (50) Buckle's Bay scattered in tumbled rocks and
best seen with scope.
Royal Penguin: (1000) at Sandy Bay and (100) Buckle's Bay.
Wandering Albatross: (1) at sea on 24 Nov.
Southern Royal Albatross: (2) at sea on 23 Nov.
Grey-headed Albatross: (3-10) daily
Black-browed Albatross (both subspecies although only (4) impavida at
sea on 23 Nov)
Shy Albatross (2 adults of cauta/steadi at sea on 23 Nov)
Light-mantled Sooty Albatross: (5-20) daily
Southern Giant-Petrel: (100) both days at Sandy Bay and Buckle's Bay
with numerous white morphs. A few at sea.
Northern Giant-Petrel: (10-20) daily
Southern Fulmar: (1) 21 Nov; (5) 22 Nov; (3) 23 Nov
Cape Petrel: (10-20) daily
White-headed Petrel: (10-20) daily
Mottled Petrel (3-10) daily
Soft-plumaged Petrel (3) on 23 Nov
Kerguelen Petrel (1) on 24 Nov
Blue Petrel (1) daily
Antarctic Prion: (50-100) daily
Fulmar Prion (1 ?) thought to be this species on basis of thick stubby
compressed bill with large maxillary unguis was flying around and over
the isthmus on 26 Nov gave a good view. It may have landed in the
tussocks but this could not be confirmed. Diurnal breeding behaviour is
believed to be distinctive to Fulmar Prion. There is some confusion
regarding the Subantarctic Fairy Prion-Fulmar Prion taxa on Macquarie
with unpublished reports of Fulmar Prions on Macquarie Island based on
birds measured nesting in a sea cave in 2000. The cave apparently
subsequently collapsed. Previously birds have been identified as
Subantarctic Fairy Prion and this taxa may have had its description
based on a juvenile specimen. So the big question is Subantarctic Fairy
Prion a valid taxa or is it actually Fulmar Prion nesting on Macca. A
further (10) seen at sea on 24 Nov.
Sooty Shearwater: (1) on 21 Nov; (10) on 23 Nov.
Grey-backed Storm-Petrel: (1) on 23 Nov
Wilson's Storm-Petrel: (2) on both 22-23 Nov
Black-bellied Storm-Petrel: (10) on 21 Nov and (1) on 23 Nov. 
Common Diving-Petrel: (1) on 23 Nov
Macquarie Island Shag: (8) on 22 Nov and (40) on 23 Nov.
Pacific Black Duck (2) on both 22-23 Nov 
Southern Skua (20) on both 22-23 Nov
Kelp Gull (20) on both 22-23 Nov
Antarctic Tern (2) on 22 Nov (10) including four first summer birds on
23 Nov.
Common Redpoll (3) seen by two lucky Australians on 23 Nov. Not seen by
our group although I managed one here in 1991.

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