NSW Seawatch from Magic Pt Maroubra (Salvins Albatross) - 21st July 2007

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Subject: NSW Seawatch from Magic Pt Maroubra (Salvins Albatross) - 21st July 2007
From: "Edwin Vella" <>
Date: Sun, 22 Jul 2007 12:10:43 +1000
Yesterday (21st July 2007), Tun Pin Ong, Stuart Pickering and I spent a few
hours sea watching from Magic Pt Maroubra. Winds again were relatively light
south-westerly producing fairly calm conditions and little swell inshore.

"ALL" species of sea birds seen that morning were observed within a "few
hundred metres" from the shore offering fantastic "almost pelagic
equivalent" views through the scope. There were good numbers of Albatross
and several Giant Petrels feeding on the cuttle-fish die off that was
drifting to the shore. The rarest bird observed that morning was a young
SALVINS ALBATROSS circling low over the water and only meters from the shore
line allowing extended and repeated views of the key diagnostic features.
This may have been the same bird seen by Keith Brandwood et al a few days
ago. Also about the same time up to 6 Southern Giant Petrels were seen
feeding together on the cuttlefish and at one time joined by 2 Wandering
Albatrosses (all photographable from Magic Pt). Also amongst the usually
more common smaller Albatrosses, there were more than the usual numbers of
Shy Albatross around and a few of these were feeding on the cuttlefish with
the Giant Petrels and the other Albatrosses. We also had the closest views
of Brown Skuas from land for quite a long time.

About this time of the year, when the cuttlefish die off, it is certainly a
great time to observe all 4 species of Albatross and other sea birds from
land which is good if you are not keen or unable to spend a whole day on the

Like last weekend, there were goods numbers (thousands) of Fluttering
Shearwaters making there way south in loose flocks and often flying over the
white wash inshore. However unlike last weekend there were fewer Silver
Gulls and Australasian Gannets.

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

Fairy Penguin (heard)

Black-browed Albatross (60 plus)

Yellow-nosed Albatross (10 plus)

Shy Albatross (22)


Wandering Albatross (3)

Southern Giant Petrel (8

Prion species (1)

Fluttering Shearwater (2 000 plus)

Australasian Gannet (14)

Little Black Cormorant (2)

Great Cormorant (2)

Brown Skua (3)

Kelp Gull (juv.)

Silver Gull (100)

Crested Tern (10)

Mammals recorded:

Humpbacked Whale (3)

Fur Seal (1)

Early that day, David Mitford was sea watching briefly at Mistral Pt and was
lucky to observe 2 AUSTRALIAN SHELDUCKS fly over the sea! (an unsual place
for a rare bird in Sydney!!!)

Until next time

Edwin Vella

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