NSW Seawatch from Magic Pt Maroubra - 16th June 2007

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Subject: NSW Seawatch from Magic Pt Maroubra - 16th June 2007
From: "Edwin Vella" <>
Date: Sun, 17 Jun 2007 10:46:25 +1000
On Saturday afternoon (16th June 2007), Stuart Pickering, David Mitford and
I spent a few hours sea watching from Magic Pt Maroubra. Winds were from the
south to south east with speeds up to or exceeding 30 knots at times. The
low pressure system developed off the Sydney coast and not from the south (a
rare event now 2 weekends in a row) which the later would have driven more
cold water species up the east coast.

Our main highlight was seeing an immaculate white-phase Southern Giant
Petrel (which appeared to have no traces or dark plumage unlike previous
white-phase birds we have seen). This (a pure white Southern Giant Petrel)
is probably a rare sight anywhere in Australia. We also had a number of
Black-browed Albatross (50 plus) and lesser numbers of Yellow-nosed and Shy
Albatross, 100 plus Fluttering Shearwaters but surprisingly only one (and
distant) Great-winged Petrel (in this type of weather they should be in
their hundreds close to the coast). There were a few Silver Gulls (but not
many) this time and an adult Kelp Gull.

We had no Humpback whales but a pod of some Bottle-nosed Dolphins.

Our list and numbers of sea birds recorded that afternoon included:

Fairy Penguin (heard)

Black-browed Albatross (50)

Yellow-nosed Albatross (13)

Shy Albatross (3)

Southern Giant Petrel (pure white morph)

Northern Giant Petrel (1)

Unidentified Giant Petrel species (5)

Great-winged Petrel (1)

Fluttering Shearwater (100)

Australasian Gannet (60)

Little Black Cormorant (1)

Brown Skua (2)

Kelp Gull (1 adult)

Silver Gull (50)

Crested Terns (7)

Mammals recorded:

Bottle-nosed Dolphins (10)

Other birders who sea watched in the morning also scored  a few Wandering
Albatross, Great-winged Petrels and Humpbacked Whales.

Edwin Vella

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