birding-aus MAGIC PT, MAROUBRA - 24TH JULY 1999

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Subject: birding-aus MAGIC PT, MAROUBRA - 24TH JULY 1999
From: "EDWIN VELLA" <>
Date: Sat, 24 Jul 1999 21:43:16 +1000

A fairly interesting morning was had at Magic Pt by myself and 9 others at Maroubra today. As we walked along the northern end of the headland towards Magic Pt, we saw a Fairy Penguin close to rocks and calling loudly as if in agony to get away from the shore.

As we walked towards Magic Pt, we disturbed a Peregrine Falcon which took of in an instant upon our coming. This was most likely a female, since it appeared to be quite a large bird.

Soon after we settled near the edge of the rocks with our eyes fixed out at sea, we noticed a trawler within 2 km off the coast. Through our scopes we saw that it had loads of birds behind, mainly Silver Gulls but upto 80 Black-browed Albatross and a smaller number of Shy (2) and (atleast 5) Yellow-nosed Albatross. Also were Southern Giant Petrels and between 2-5 Antarctic Skuas. After the trawler went past, many Albatrosses, including one Wandering Albatross and other Giant Petrels were seen feeding on dead cuttlefish. Fluttering Shearwaters in their thousands and a couple of Prions were also seen within 2km out from shore. Winds that morning were fairly light and tending from the south-west and not what we had hoped for. Despite this, a few interesting seabirds as I have noted, were seen. However, an unexpected highlight that morning, just before we left the point, was seeing only within 30 metres off the rocks, a Humpback Whale "breaching twice" in succession. This also being a big surprise to the fishermen fishing from the same rocks and in a nearby small boat. The whale went past our headland and briefly into Maroubra Bay, then out of the bay.

On our way back, to the cars, we walked along the trail on the northern end of the Rifle range and saw 2 (and possibly heard another) Lewins Rails quickly running along the track and one (possibly of the same two fly up into dense bittou bush growing on the northern side of the Rifle range. A Brown Quail was also seen walking slowing across this same track. In the heath opposite, great views of a pair of Southern Emu-wrens were had with several others calling further down the trail.

Edwin Vella

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