Dan, there have been at least 5 previous records of the "CIA" from Tas, all
1) An adult was present in the colony at Albatross Island from Jan 83 (not 82)
to 1986 (Bothers & Davis 1985). A photo of this bird is published in Lindsey
2) A different adult was present in the Albatross Island colony from 1985
until Sept 1994 (Brothers in Reid & James 1997).
3) Tim Reid and I saw an adult CIA near The Mewstone off southern Tasmania in
Feb 1995 (Reid & James 1997).
Bothers, N.P. & Davis, G. 1985. Bird observations on Albatross Island, 1981 to
1985. Tas Bird Report 14: 3-9.
Harper, P.C., & Kinsky, F.C. 1978 Southern Albatrosses and Petrels: An
Identification Guide, 2nd Ed, Duval, Cleaveland.
Lindsey, T. 1986. The Seabirds of Australia, Angus & Robertson/NPIAW, Sydney.
Reid, T. & James, D.J. 1997. The Chatham Island Mollymawk (Diomedea eremita) in
Australia. Notornis 44: 125-8.
Incidently, the classic Harper & Kinsky 1978 is available at (without the
waterproof cover, alas):
From: Daniel Mantle <>
Sent: Monday, 5 September 2011 5:33 PM
Subject: Chathan Island Albatross off Australia
I can reply as I am still stuck at Melbourne Airport!! I am pretty sure there
was also a Chatham Albatross off Wollongong in that mega-year (1999). I wish I
had been living in Aus then! Your 2002 records confirm what some of the others
thought - that the Gong had scored two eremita over the years. I still think
Tas has had a few too, but wouldn't even know where to start looking for these
records. There are some great seabird records on the various marine biology
databases, especially from the research vessels leaving Tas for the Antarctic.
But I guess many of these have not been submitted to BARC. At the time of the
Great Shearwaters earlier this year (I think I forgot to post this), I could
remember seeing a record of an earlier sighting of multiple Great Shearwaters
off Tas (still in Aus waters) from a survey vessel. Maybe three birds if my
memory is correct.
> > Date: Mon, 5 Sep 2011 17:10:35 +1000
> > Subject: [Birding-Aus] Chathan Island Albatross off Australia
> You asked about the occurrence of Chatham Island (Shy) Albatross off
> Australia. I am aware of a bird seen off Wollongong on July 12, 2002 and
> another (or maybe the same bird?) seen from the Halicat off Sydney on August
> 12, 2002. The latter was the only T. cauta eremita that I have seen in about
> 200 trips off Sydney (and the only one that I am aware of offshore Sydney)
> so they are definitely not very commonly occurring!
> Roger McGovern
> Dan asked about the frequency of Chatham Albatross T. c. eremita in
> Australian waters. HANZAB vol.1 (1990) described them as 'occasional' off SE
> Australia. Back in the 1960/70's Peter Lansley, Geoff Price & I saw an adult
> from Cape Schanck, a headland in central Victoria and I photographed a
> sub-adult from a fishing boat off Eden in southern NSW. Around that time an
> adult was living in the colony of Shy Albatross T. c. cauta on Albatross
> Island off NW Tasmania in Bass Strait. I seem to recall another that was seen
> on a Portland pelagic.
4) Nigel Brothers observed an adult at sea off Pedra Branca in March 1995
(Brothers in Reid & James 1997).
5) Tim Reid saw an adult from a longline tuna boat on the continental slope
south of Tas in June 1996 (Reid & James 1997).
Whether the birds at sea and ashore were the same or different is difficult to
be sure of.
I recall there was a record soon after we published, from NSW if I'm not wrong,
probably in the 1999 bumper year. I think it was Eden, not the Gong, but my
memory could well be wrong here.
when we published in 1997 we did not find any mainland records. We obviously
overlooked the Cape Schanck and Eden records mentioned by Mike Carter. I'm not
sure why, because in the early 1980s Tim and I both knew of the Cape Schanck
record. Whoops. Anyway, Mike, I tentatively suggest it was not the 1960s when
you saw one off Cape Schanck because Peter and Geoff were probably still in
primary school then. Was it after the publication of Harper & Kinsky (1st ed
1974, 2nd ed. 1978) perhaps? As noted above the Albatross Island birds first
appeared much later, in 1983
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