Recent sightings at Macquarie

Subject: Recent sightings at Macquarie
From: "Mike Carter" <>
Date: Mon, 3 Mar 2003 16:55:36 -0000
Macquarie Island 

Bird sightings 30 January-1st March 2003


Erect-crested Penguin Eudyptes sclateri A single adult close to moulting on edge of the middle Royal Penguin colony, Windsor Bay on 4/2. Also present on 10/2 (MS)


Southern Royal Albatross Diomedea epomophora epomophora Single bird just north of Hurd Point on the 31/1 with large numbers of other seabirds (MS).


Shy Albatross Diomedia cauta cauta/steadi Small numbers (ones and twos) seen regularly during the past month, with a high count of eight on 13/2 off North Head during a one-hour seawatch (RHC).


Buller’s Albatross Diomedia bulleri One seen well off North Head on the 17/2. A further two birds seen off Hurd Point on 25/2. There are very few records of this species from MI (RHC).


Cape Petrel Daption capense Few records at this time of year. Five plus just north of Hurd Point on the 31/1 (MS), and two in the same area on 26/2 (RHC). Single birds off North Head occasionally throughout the month (RHC). Two birds also successfully fledged from North Head during the month (John Lynn).


Grey Petrel Procellaria cinerea One bird see out to sea on the 9/2. This is the first sighting for Macquarie Island since October 2002. Subsequently single birds seen every other day off North Head (RHC) and 2 to 3 seen flying about Catch-Me-Cave area at midnight on the 15/2 (MS).


White-chinned Petrel Procellaria aequinoctialis A high count of nine all heading north off the Hamshack on 10/2. These were the only birds seen during the month (RHC).


Mottled Petrel Pterodroma inexpectata Ones and two’s seen passing various headlands throughout the month (RHC).


Great-winged Petrel Pterodroma macroptera One on 14/2, one on 19/2 and 3 on 21/2 all off North Head. All birds were dark-faced suggesting they were of the nominate race (RHC).


Soft-plumaged Petrel Pterodroma mollis Occasional birds seen out at sea (RHC).


Wilson’s Storm-petrel Oceanites oceanicus  Ten plus just north of Hurd Point on 31/1 with large numbers of other seabirds (MS). One bird off Tottan Head on the 13/2 and up to five off Hurd Point on 25/2 (RHC).


Grey-backed Storm-petrel Garrodia nereis Two 500 m off South-west Pt on 4/2 and a further 4 off Green Pt on the same day (MS). Two foraging just beyond breaking swell off South-west Pt on 10/2.


Short-tailed Shearwater Puffinus tenuirostris Large numbers seen on several days. All birds were heading south. During one-hour observation periods the following were seen: 60 on 1/2, 80 on the 2/2, 680 and 925 on the 3/2, 68 on 14/2, 144 on 19/2 and 3764 on 20/2. Smaller numbers were recorded on several other days (RHC).


Diving Petrel spp. Pelecanoides spp. One on the 13/2 and another on 20/2 off North Head (RHC). Two just north of Hurd Point amongst many other seabirds on 31/1 (MS).


Pacific Golden Plover Pluvialis fulva A single bird flushed from the edge of a pool on the Featherbed behind Handspike Pt 18/2 (MS). A new record for MI?


White-throated Needletail Hirundapus caudacutus Continued sporadic records of one to two individuals. Mostly around North Head, but also on the east coast as far south as Red River (RHC, MS and others). Last bird was seen over Doctor’s Track on 28/2 (RHC).


MS = Martin Schultz, RHC = Rohan Clarke
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