NSW - A superb Spring sea watch from Maroubra, Sydney - 10th September 2

To: "Birding-aus" <>
Subject: NSW - A superb Spring sea watch from Maroubra, Sydney - 10th September 2006
From: "Edwin Vella" <>
Date: Sun, 10 Sep 2006 21:00:59 +1000
Today (10 September 2006), David Mitford, Stuart Pickering and I enjoyed
a superb Spring sea watch this afternoon at Mistral Pt in Maroubra,
(approx. 10 km south of Sydney CBD) with light to moderate southerly
winds prevailing during the day. These weather conditions have persisted
over Sydney since last Thursday and we were delighted that it carried
over through the weekend!

The main highlight for the afternoon was seeing 'at least' 10 (ten)
WHITE HEADED PETRELS amongst the 3 Pterodroma Petrel species identified.
Although all 3 of us have seen White-headed Petrels on Pelagic trips
before (I had on occasion seen 57 on one pelagic a few years ago from
Sydney), today was the first time we had observed them from land and we
had good views of a few close enough to see their dark eye patches.
David Mitford had seen 6 of them within one hour before Stuart and I
arrived in the early afternoon. They are certainly one of the smartest
looking of the Pterodromas!

Also quite surprising, were the good numbers of other winter species
still present including 4 species of Albatross and both species of Giant
Petrels of which we also enjoyed good views, in particularly the Giant

Also quite impressive today was seeing a few Humpback Whales migrating
south and  even breaching.

Our list of sea birds and numbers for the 6 hours (11:00-17:15) we were
there at Magic Pt today (some of the birds only seen by David Mitford
before Stuart and I arrived after 13:00) included the following:

Fairy Penguin (heard calling)
Black-browed Albatross (13)
Yellow-nosed Albatross (6)
Shy Albatross (8)
Wandering Albatross (5)
Southern Giant Petrel (3) 
Northern Giant Petrel (3)
Giant Petrels other (2)
Providence Petrel (1)
Great-winged Petrel (2)
Wedge-tailed Shearwater (180)
Fleshy-footed Shearwater (1)
Fluttering Shearwater (330)
Hutton's Shearwater (26)
Australasian Gannet (140)
Little Pied Cormorant (1)
Little Black Cormorant (3)
Great Cormorant (1)
Kelp Gull (2-3)
Silver Gull (400)
Crested Tern (30)

Mammals seen:

Humpback Whale (5-6)

Another good way to spend a wet day!

Edwin Vella


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