NSW Seawatch from Magic Pt Maroubra (A few rarities and Short-tailed She

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Subject: NSW Seawatch from Magic Pt Maroubra (A few rarities and Short-tailed Shearwater migration) - 22nd September 2007
From: "Edwin Vella" <>
Date: Sun, 23 Sep 2007 13:46:20 +1000
Yesterday afternoon (22nd September 2007), David Mitford and I enjoyed
another brilliant sea watch from Magic Pt Maroubra (approx. 10km south of
Sydney CBD). Winds were mainly moderate southerlies for most of the
afternoon but dying off later towards the evening producing excellent sea
watching conditions.

The Short-tailed Shearwater migration was in full swing and they were
passing southwards at rates of 10,000 birds per hour as we have witnessed
around the same time last year. This is certainly a spectacle in itself but
not the only one for the afternoon. We also had our first Arctic Jaeger for
the season heading south and the Brown Skuas were still around.

Other highlights included a WHITE-HEADED PETREL after the winds had died
down. The petrel was observed at reasonable close range to Magic Pt where we
were able to watch it over several minutes. This is one of several
White-headed Petrels that has visited Maroubra this month (we had 10 one
afternoon about this time last year)! Also good yesterday afternoon was
seeing a "WHITE-MORPH" Southern Giant Petrel (one or 2 birds seen on 2
occasions during the afternoon. This is David's 4th or 5th and my 3rd
sighting of a white-morph bird this winter), a "very close" in NORTHERN
GIANT PETREL (my only one for this winter) and good numbers of Albatrosses
(many of these were also close in to shore).

Our list and numbers of sea birds recorded that afternoon (time period about
1330 to 1800) included:

Fairy Penguin (heard)

Black-browed Albatross (17)

Yellow-nosed Albatross (1)

Shy Albatross (15)

Wandering Albatross (6)

Southern Giant Petrel (1 or 2 "white-morph" birds)


Other Giant Petrels (2)

Great-winged Petrel (3)


Wedge-tailed Shearwater (2,000 plus)

Short-tailed Shearwater (50,000 plus)

Fluttering Shearwater (18)

Australasian Gannet (35)

Great Cormorant (2)

Arctic Jaeger (1)

Brown Skua (4)

Silver Gull (200)

Crested Tern (10)

Mammals recorded:

Humpbacked Whale (1)

Until next time

Edwin Vella

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