Short-tailed Shearwaters

Subject: Short-tailed Shearwaters
From: Andy Burton's Bush Tours <>
Date: Thu, 26 Oct 2000 15:02:08 +1000
Hi All,

spent the weekend of the 14th-15th October at Port Stephens, just north of Newcastle. Spent some time on a visit to Boulder Bay 32°  45.670´   152°  09.605´, a small coastal inlet near the settlement of Fingal Bay.

On the beach, probably no more than 200 m. long were 40 dead Short-tailed Shearwaters, or one every 5 metres. This number can be in part explained by the fact that this small beach acted as a funnel in the surrounding rocky coast, so perhaps the numbers were exaggerated.

Nearby at Soldiers Point I also had the strange experience of watching one of these birds die. This was not in the usual fashion of blood,guts and a snowstorm of feathers as it hit the car windscreen or as it flew into the window of a house. In fact it appeared to be a very quiet, peaceful but lonely death.

The bird was on the still waters of Port Stephens, 5 m. from the beach and away from its normal marine habitat. It was swimming quietly when it stopped, raised its head and bill high, almost arched over its back and did the same with its tail, appearing to be quite stiff (pun intended). It held this position for a few seconds and then died with its head falling to the water. End of story so to speak.

regards, Andy
Andy Burton's Bush Tours
12/8 Cambridge St,
NSW  2062

Ph 61 2 9954 0893
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