birding-aus Bird and Whale watching at Cape Solander near Sydney 20th Ju

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Subject: birding-aus Bird and Whale watching at Cape Solander near Sydney 20th June 1999
From: "EDWIN VELLA" <>
Date: Sun, 20 Jun 1999 16:18:28 +1000
This morning I had wonderful experience at Cape Solander on the southern end of Botany Bay (a little south of Sydney). Not only was I watching several Black-browed and Shy Albatross offshore from Cape Solander, but saw 3 magnificent Humpback Whales only about one kilometre away from the rocks. One or two was seen "breaching" (with enormous splashes) and the whales were also seen tail slapping, blowing, rolling, diving, flapping its fins and tail etc. There were several small fishing boats metres away from them and one fisherman did not realise how close it came behind from his boat. I have never seen them so close to shore.
Another highlight for the morning was seeing a male Swamp Harrier displaying to the larger female over the Metomix Swamp (near the southern shores of Botany Bay). It was seen soaring much higher than the female, calling a high and short "kyeow" repeatedly. As it was calling, it displayed making spectacular loops and circles with wings in a stiff "V" as it plumeted down to the ground. At times it appeared also to do a few flips in the air. I have never noticed these Harriers display before and rate it as one of the most spectacular raptor displays I have ever seen (one other spectacular one is that of the Pacific Baza). 2 female Musk Ducks were also seen in this swamp aswell as lengthy views of 2 male and a female Southern Emuwrens perched in a casuarina, a Mangrove Heron, and many White-fronted Chats at Towra Point nearby.
A good morning indeed!!!
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