birding-aus Birding in Eastern Bass Strait

Subject: birding-aus Birding in Eastern Bass Strait
From: Gil Langfield <>
Date: Sat, 04 Sep 1999 17:13:08 +1000
I had the good fortune this week to spend 3 days working on one of Esso's Bass Strait platforms off the coast of Victoria. Kingfish B platform is at 38 35 48 S, 148 10 49 E, about 78 km from the coast of 90-mile Beach and is in 78 m of water. Birds seen were:

Wandering Albatross: Up to 3 at one time, HANZAB Stage 1, 2, 4 and 5 plumage. Most were following a trawler which had come from deeper waters to the south.

Shy Albatross:  Again up to 3 at one time but about 8 following the trawler.

Yellow-nosed Albatross:  only 1 seen

Southern Giant-Petrel: Singles seen on occasions, and 2 followed the trawler. A little later a white morph appeared and hung around the platform for most of the day. Even though I had very good views of these birds, I was unable to pick red or green tips to the bills.

Southern Fulmar: 1 only, which was exactly as pictured in the books except for a small black smudge on the top of the tail.

Cape Petrel: I had only seen one of these in my other trips offshore but this time there were up to 55 wheeling and squabbling around the platform.

Prion Species:  lots of these at times but always too far away to see well.

Shearwater Species: a flock far away which could have been Huttons, Fluttering or Little.

Australasian Gannet:  singles generally plus one flock of 4

Silver Gull:  Flocks of up to 25 birds.

Crested Tern:  Singles seen regularly.

Great Skua:  1 around the platform for a half day.


Gil Langfield
Melbourne, Australia

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