Southport Sea Mount trip 11-14th April 2014.

To: <>
Subject: Southport Sea Mount trip 11-14th April 2014.
From: "Paul Walbridge" <>
Date: Fri, 18 Apr 2014 07:08:07 +1000
Hi All, the trip out to the Queensland & Britannia Sea Mounts (our second) last 
weekend was highly successful. The main aim was again to locate the enigmatic 
'striped bellied' storm-petrels, which we did successfully. Our view now, after 
incredibly close views of several birds is that all the sightings thus far in 
this region have been definitely NOT New Zealand Storm-Petrels, due to several 
factors. The  birds we are seeing here most closely resemble the birds being 
seen off the southern edge of New Caledonia and loosely referred to as New 
Caledonian Storm-Petrel. However, with the majority of sightings of these birds 
being sighted in an area both offshore and along open ocean sea mounts adjacent 
to Brisbane, down to Ballina in northen New South Wales, in the southern Coral 
Sea, it has been suggested we use the term Coral Sea Storm-Petrel for the time 
being. That is until ongoing further studies affirm it's correct taxonomic 
status, which obviously is going to take some period of time. I have recorded a 
total of 38 individuals now for the region. My friend Chris Collins of the UK 
is conducting a similar expedition off New Caledonia in early May and will be 
stopping over at my place en route and we will swap notes.
The overall trip was also highly interesting, with some mega sightings. 
Although the overall diversity and numbers were down on 2012, there were still 
some highly prized sightings. These string of sea mounts, stretching from just 
offshore of Fraser Island down to just over the New South Wales border are all 
in Australian territorial waters and are proving to be an extremely important 
staging/foraging area for a large number of seabird species, some of which have 
become increasingly rare and threatened! Below is the 2 day list.
Red-tailed Tropicbird - 1
White-tailed Tropicbird - 6 (3)
Polynesian Storm-Petrel - 1
Wilson's Storm-Petrel - 110 (32)
Coral Sea  Storm-Petrel - 25 (7)
White-faced Storm-Petrel - 3 (1)
Wedge-tailed Shearwater - 288 (40)
Flesh-footed Shearwater - 70 (20)
Sooty Shearwater - 2 (1)
Streaked Shearwater - 1
Tahiti Petrel - 86 (15)
Kermadec Petrel - 51 (3)
Great-winged Petrel - 47 (12) all gouldi
Providence Petrel - 12 (2)
Gould's Petrel - 11 (1)
Collared Petrel - 3 (1)
Arctic Jaeger - 2 (1)
Common Noddy - 2 (1)
White Tern - 3 (1)
Sooty Tern - 31 (3)

Cheers - Paul W.

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