Pelagic Survey off Port Stephens 01-10-09

To: Birding Aus <>
Subject: Pelagic Survey off Port Stephens 01-10-09
From: Mick Roderick <>
Date: Thu, 1 Oct 2009 00:29:01 -0700 (PDT)
Hi all,

Today Alan Stuart and I joined the local Marine Parks Authority for the third 
seabird survey off Port Stephens, NSW (run in conjunction the Hunter Bird 
Observers Club). The day was defined by the sheer dominance of Solander's 
Petrels over the shelf. For hours we could barely attract anything more to the 
boat than a couple of Wedge-tailed Shearwaters amongst the continuous stream of 
Solander's. We estimated 150 birds but I think this is rather conservative. At 
one point we had 30 birds around or in the vicinity of the boat. There was also 
a large feeding aggregation of Wedge-tailed Shearwaters just off Fingal Head, 
in a large, loose flock that stretched for approximately 3 miles, with an 
estimate of about 2500 birds. Some small groups of Short-tailed Shearwaters 
were seen migrating south. 

Another highlight was having two Black-bellied Stormies behind the boat at the 
same time.

Birds observed - Total (max. number around boat at one time):

Wilson's Storm-Petrel  4 (1)
White-faced Storm-Petrel 1 (1)
Shy Albatross (cauta) 1 (1)
Black-browed Albatross (melanophrys) - 1 (1)
Yellow-nosed Albatross 3 (1)
Wedge-tailed Shearwater 2500 est. (only about 30 birds over the shelf)
Short-tailed Shearwater 20 (6)
Hutton's Shearwater 1 (1)
Solander's Petrel 150+ (30)
Australasian Gannet 150 (30+ - feeding amongst the Shearwaters)
Crested Tern 5 (3)
Silver Gull 10 (6)


Mick Roderick

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