Abrolhos Islands Trip Report

Subject: Abrolhos Islands Trip Report
Date: Thu, 11 Apr 1996 10:50:24 +1000
Abrolhos Islands Trip Report 
Those who took part included Barbara Harvey, Malea kneen, Peter  
Milburn, Mike McLeash, Neil Macumber, Kim Lim, Brett Jarrett, Chris  
Brandis and Tony Palliser 
This report briefly details the outcome of a trip to the Abrolhos  
Islands near Geraldton off the coast of Western Australia from the  
2nd to the 4th April 1996 aboard the 'Jodi Anne II'.  Conditions  
throughout were calm and fine with light winds predominantly from  
the SW.  This was particularly fortunate as conditions prior to  
and immediately after our charter were reported to be a lot more  
Day One 2nd of April 
After an early 3.00am departure we awoke at dawn still to the east  
of the Abrolhos to the sight of small numbers of Wedge-tailed (both  
light and dark phase) streaked, flesh-footed and hutton's  
shearwater's plus a few Bridled Terns resting on crayfish buoys.   
Pete pointing out that they always prefer the middle of the three  
buoys.  By mid morning we had passed between two low lying Islands  
obtaining our first views of Roseate Tern and rather poor views of  
what was considered to be a Little Shearwater and were over the  
shelf approximately 80nm from the main land.  This is where we saw  
vast numbers of Lesser Noddy and more shearwaters in feeding flocks.   
The rest of the day was spent heading North along the shelf  
observing more noddies, shearwaters and a lone Wilson?s Storm  
Petrel prior to heading for the Northern section of the Abrolhos  
group and into the calm waters of Long Island.  That evening we just  
had enough light remaining for an onshore visit to photograph  
Roseate Tern and waders. A few surprising species were encountered  
such as Brush Bronzewing and Spotless Crake. 
Day Two 3rd April 
On to our next Island East Wallaby. This Island proved to be of  
considerable interest not only for birds but for mammals, fish and  
reptiles too.  Malea managed to locate and thankfully relocate one  
of the endemic reptiles Erergnia stoksii.  In addition we saw a  
colony of Tamar Wallaby and a few more unexpected birds such as  
Painted Button Quail and Scrub Wren.  At least 4 button quail were  
seen and were noted to be quite approachable as they made their  
peculiar platelets. Once again photographic opportunities were  
excellent.  After a most luxurious lunch of Lobster and Coral Trout  
we headed off to the main breeding Island for Lesser Noddy, Wooded  
Island. On route we passed a large feeding flock of shearwaters  
and were somewhat stunned to see so many Streaked Shearwaters. We  
counted at least 15 individuals along with a few Hutton?s and lots  
of dark phase Wedge-tailed Shearwaters.  Having spent so much time  
watching the shearwaters left us with only a short late afternoon  
foray on Wooded Island before once again anchoring in sheltered  
waters.  Ocean life here was prolific with even squid and octopus  
swimming around the back of the yacht that evening.  The sunset  
was certainly one of the best I had ever seen. 
Day Three 4th April 
Two hours were spent on Wooded Island photographing tame Lesser  
Noddies along the shoreline as well as the many Roseate, Bridled  
and Fairy Tern.  This Island could only be described as magnificent.   
Even the Spotless Crake were tame, 12 birds were counted in one spot  
amongst the mangroves.  The noddies had finished nesting with the  
mangroves now only being used as a night time roost.  Barbara and  
Neil managed to squeeze in a spot of snorkelling before we set sail  
to Leo Island.  Leo again proved to be a great place for photography  
with lots more opportunities to photograph the terns, Pacific Gull  
and waders. Michael even managed to locate a fresh specimen of a  
Little Shearwater.  That afternoon we headed back towards Geraldton  
once again observing even more Streaked and Hutton?s Shearwaters  
particularly closer inshore with up to 8 more streaked and 60-70  
Hutton?s within 10nm of the mainland.   
A great trip and our sincere thanks to the captain Ron Ketcher and  
crew of the Jodi Anne who made our trip such a pleasurable experience.   
Anyone requiring a more detailed account of our observations may  
obtain this by emailing me at  Hourly counts  
were made over much of the area covered while at sea. 
Species Recorded: 
Grey Teal 
Streaded Shearwater              
Wedge-tailed Shearwater 
Flesh-footed Shearwater 
Little Shearwater...two specimens and two possible live sightings 
Hutton?s Shearwater 
Yellow-nosed dead specimen 
Wilson?s Storm Petrel 
Brown Booby 
Little Pied Cormorant 
Pied Cormorant 
Eastern Reef Egret 
White-faced Heron 
White-breasted Sea Eagle 
Spotless Crake 
Painted Button Quail 
Bar-tailed Godwit 
Common Greenshank 
Grey-tailed Tattler 
Ruddy Turnstone 
Great Knot 
Red Knot 
Red-necked Stint 
Pied Oystercatcher 
Sooty Oystercatcher 
Black-winged Stilt 
Grey Plover 
Red-capped Plover 
Large Sand Plover 
Pomarine Skua 
Pacific Gull 
Silver Gull 
Crested Tern 
Roseate Tern 
Fairy Tern 
Bridled Tern 
Sooty Tern 
Common Noddy 
Lesser Noddy 
Brush Bronzewing 
White-browed Scrubwren 
Welcome Swallow 
Tony Palliser  (Sydney, Australia) 
Phone   +61 2 9900 1678 or +61 2 4277563   
Fax     +61 2 9900 1669 
Email    or            

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