Rough seas and a strong southerly made conditions uncomfortable but this was
the beginning of winter birding. Major highlight an adult Buller's
Albatross. In immaculate plumage and with a luminous bill it obligingly
followed for 40 minutes making numerous passes and occasionally feeding.
Also recorded Black-browed Albatross (10 including at least 2 impavida-all
adults), Yellow-nosed Albatross (1 adult), Shy Albatross (1 adult cauta
type), Providence Petrel (c.10), Great-winged Petrel (c.10), Wedge-tailed
Shearwater (c.100), Flesh-footed Shearwater (c.100), Short-tailed Shearwater
(c.5), Hutton's Shearwater (1 seen well, several unidentified). Two juvenile
White-fronted Terns followed the wake for lengthy views as did five Pomarine
and a single Arctic Jaeger all in varying well developed breeding plumage.
Six Kelp Gulls and a few Australasian Gannets rounded off the seabirds. No
cetaceans. We made it 17 nautical miles offshore with birds following us for
most of the day. A very different list to that seen off Sydney a fortnight
before which included a White-tailed Tropicbird, 5 White Terns, 1 Kermadec
Petrel and 1Westland Black Petrel and no albatrosses.
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