NSW Seawatch from Magic Pt Maroubra (White-chinned Petrel) - 7th Septemb

To: <>
Subject: NSW Seawatch from Magic Pt Maroubra (White-chinned Petrel) - 7th September 2007
From: "Edwin Vella" <>
Date: Sat, 8 Sep 2007 08:00:54 +1000
Yesterday afternoon (7th September 2007), David Mitford enjoyed another
brilliant sea watch from Magic Pt Maroubra. Winds were mainly light east to
south-easterlies producing fairly calm conditions and little swell inshore.
During the afternoon, there was also the occasional rain belt driving a good
number of birds much closer to shore and also produced a beautiful double
rainbow very close to Magic Pt.

I arrived at Magic Pt about 1 pm, an hour or so just before David arrived
with a nice Wandering Albatross being amongst my first of sea birds seen
(and the first Albatross) for that afternoon. During this first hour I
managed to record 12 species of sea bird which was a fairly good start. I
also noticed an Eastern Reef Egret fly past Magic Pt (as I often see).

Initially that afternoon there was a good number of Wedge-tailed Shearwaters
streaming south close inshore and a scattering of Fluttering Shearwaters
heading north but much further out.

After David arrived, Fluttering Shearwaters were heading north in their
thousands and much closer to the shore. Our first afternoon highlight then
soon arrived, when David spotted a 'white-phase" Southern Giant Petrel miles
out in the horizon (5km out) where after a few brief glimpses and thinking
it had disappeared much further away, David soon picked it up again and
observed it coming closer and closer, first past Bondi, then past Mistral
Pt, then into Maroubra Bay towards the beach and then within 300 metres off
Magic Pt where David was able to get his a photo with his camera. We could
see traces of black speckling in the upper wings and under body (we had a
pure white bird about the same distance back on 16/6/07 and David also saw
another white-phase bird from Maroubra on 22/8/07). During the afternoon, we
also had 3 our dark Giant Petrels including one definite Southern Giant
Petrel which also came close as the 'white-phase' bird.

We noticed also there was a mixed feeding flock of Wedge-tailed and
Fluttering Shearwaters just off Magic Pt when David noticed a bird larger
than a Wedge-tailed Shearwater with a large whitish bill and appearing
aggressively towards the Wedge-tailed Shearwaters and also making shallow
dives. It was then to our amazement we were watching a WHITE-CHINNED PETREL
which hanged around with the Shearwaters for a few minutes before
disappearing. Funny enough I was mentioning to David only a few minutes
before that we may be seeing a Pterodroma or a "Procellaria" petrel soon.
The White-chinned Petrel (one of 4 Procellaria Petrels) is an excellent bird
to see anywhere along the east coast of Australia not only for Maroubra! I
believe most records of this species tend to be around Spring for the east
coast of Australia.

Other things of note for the afternoon included good numbers of Shy
Albatross seen (at least 18 seen and the most numerous Albatross species
seen that afternoon); watching a Brown Skua chase Silver Gulls and then
pounce on and kill (presumably by drowning) a Silver Gull (amongst 10 Brown
Skuas seen that afternoon at least 3 came within a few hundred metres from
Magic Pt. They normally are seen much further out); watching a Wedge-tailed
Shearwater acting aggressively towards Silver Gulls at the base of Magic Pt
after a few scraps thrown out by fisherman and watching the breaching of a
Humpback Whale (at least 10 seen during the afternoon where they should all
now be heading back south).

On our way back to the car park we also spotted about 10 Bottle-nosed
Dolphins moving within a few metres of the rocks and closer to the beach
ending a great afternoon of sea watching.

Our list and numbers of sea birds recorded that afternoon (time period about
1300 to 1800) included:

Fairy Penguin (heard)

Black-browed Albatross (5)

Yellow-nosed Albatross (3)

Shy Albatross (18)

Wandering Albatross (1)

Southern Giant Petrel (2 - including one "white-phase" bird)

Other Giant Petrels (2)


Wedge-tailed Shearwater (1500 plus)

Hutton's Shearwater (10)

Fluttering Shearwater (5 000 plus)

Australasian Gannet (70)

Little Black Cormorant (1)

Great Cormorant (1)

Australian Pelican (1)

Brown Skua (10)

Kelp Gull (1)

Silver Gull (250)

Crested Tern (25)

Mammals recorded:

Humpbacked Whale (10)

Bottle-nosed Dolphin (10)

David Mitford also had from Maroubra a few days ago another White-headed and
2 Cape Petrels.

Until next time

Edwin Vella

To unsubscribe from this mailing list,
send the message:
(in the body of the message, with no Subject line)
<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>
  • NSW Seawatch from Magic Pt Maroubra (White-chinned Petrel) - 7th September 2007, Edwin Vella <=

The University of NSW School of Computer and Engineering takes no responsibility for the contents of this archive. It is purely a compilation of material sent by many people to the birding-aus mailing list. It has not been checked for accuracy nor its content verified in any way. If you wish to get material removed from the archive or have other queries about the archive e-mail Andrew Taylor at this address: andrewt@cse.unsw.EDU.AU