NSW Seawatch from Magic Pt Maroubra - 29th September 2007

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Subject: NSW Seawatch from Magic Pt Maroubra - 29th September 2007
From: "Edwin Vella" <>
Date: Sun, 30 Sep 2007 20:47:42 +1000
Yesterday morning (29th September 2007) I had a good 2 hour sea watch from
Magic Pt Maroubra (approx. 10km south of Sydney CBD). Winds were mainly
moderate westerlies during the time I was there producing very little swell
but a decent breeze to get some birds in to the air.

Unlike a week ago, not a single Short-tailed Shearwater was to be seen. They
must have all been in a hurry to get to their breeding grounds last weekend!
However, the second wave of migrating Short-tails is expected to come around
November as I have been told.

The close encounters of at least 2 Wandering Albatrosses that morning was a
welcome sight but the highlight of all (due to its occurrence out at sea)
was my first Whiskered Tern for the season. I initially spotted the small
tern about 2 km out by it way of flight and jizz to rule out other smaller
terns. It then came in much closer within a few hundred metres when I
noticed it was in immaculate breeding plumage and fed in with the feeding
flocks of both Wedge-tailed Shearwaters and Silver Gulls for about an hour
until the time I left. David advised me there that he has had 1 or 2 birds
off Magic in October 2002. Has anyone seen Whiskered Terns out at sea?

Also interesting that morning was a juvenile White-bellied Sea-eagle a km
out at sea making several attempts to catch either fish or one of the
feeding Shearwaters or Gulls!

Also of note was the absence of any species of Skua/Jaeger giving
Shearwaters and Gulls some peace of mind!

My list and numbers of sea birds recorded that morning (time period about
945 to 1145) included:

Black-browed Albatross (3)

Shy Albatross (2)

Wandering Albatross (3)

Wedge-tailed Shearwater (500 plus)

Hutton's Shearwater (1)

Australasian Gannet (8)

Silver Gull (200)

Crested Tern (30)

White-fronted Tern (7)

Whiskered Tern (1)

Until next time

Edwin Vella

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