NSW - Another sea watch from Magic Pt, Maroubra - 25 Feb 07 (numerous Lo

To: "Birding-aus" <>
Subject: NSW - Another sea watch from Magic Pt, Maroubra - 25 Feb 07 (numerous Long-tailed Jaegers!)
From: "Edwin Vella" <>
Date: Mon, 26 Feb 2007 19:13:50 +1100
Yesterday (about 11:00 to 19:00 on 25 February 2007), David Mitford,
Stuart Pickering and I enjoyed another interesting sea watch from Magic
Pt in Maroubra, (approx. 10 km south of Sydney CBD) with moderate
south-westerly winds (15-20 knots) for most of the day and the
occasional rain belt.

We had a few very interesting highlights included our record of 78
(seventy-eight) Long-tailed Jaegers breaking my previous record of 64 on
26th February 2005 about 2 years ago!). We had several "incredible"
close encounters of these beautiful elegant (and quite delicate) looking
birds, the closest being within 50 metres from the shore and we even saw
3 almost on Maroubra beach! Those 3 spent a little while in Maroubra Bay
and were also seen feeding with the Silver Gulls. This is amazing since
Long-tails are the most pelagic of all 3 species of Jaeger and
considering that the winds were only really moderate. Arctic Jaegers
(which we saw 7) is the least pelagic of the Jaegers and often hang
about the in-shore waters (including bays and estuaries) and Pomarine
are what we believe to be most common of the 3. The Long-tailed Jaegers
were numerous throughout the time we were at Magic Pt. At any point of
time we were there, there was always a few Long-tails to be seen with
flocks of up to 10 birds at a time but most often in twos or threes. We
also observed one Long-tailed Jaeger attempt to pirate a Common Tern
which is the first time I recall seeing one actually pirate a bird.

Other highlights included two distant Wandering Albatross (a species
normally seen during the winter), a White-necked Petrel (well most
likely this species but we could not see the white collar at a
considerable distance we observed this bird, so could not rule out Juan
Fernandez Petrel which could turn up. David has seen the former species
a few times from Maroubra and around this time of year. Both David and I
have seen White-necked Petrels on previous pelagics as well) and more
than the usual numbers of Short-tailed Shearwaters for this time of

Like on other sea watches, we also had another very close encounter with
a Peregrine Falcon as it whizzed passed Magic Pt.

Our list of sea birds recorded during our sea watch yesterday included
the following species:

Fairy Penguin (heard calling)
Wandering Albatross (2)
WHITE-NECKED PETREL (this or Juan Fernandez Petrel)
Wedge-tailed Shearwater (300)
Flesh-footed Shearwater (5)
Short-tailed Shearwater (400)
Sooty Shearwater (2)
Fluttering Shearwater (3)
Hutton's Shearwater (1)
Australasian Gannet (300) 
Little Black Cormorant (1)
Great Cormorant (2)
Pied Cormorant (2)
Arctic Jaeger (7)
Pomarine Jaeger (45)
Long-tailed Jaeger (78)
Silver Gull (300)
Crested Tern (100)
Common Tern (3)

Mammals seen:

Common Dolphin (20)


Edwin Vella


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