[Fwd: Re: [Birding-Aus] Macquarie Island Report]

Subject: [Fwd: Re: [Birding-Aus] Macquarie Island Report]
From: Lynn <>
Date: Mon, 10 Dec 2007 19:41:45 +1100
Not sure why this didn't go through the first time ? Too long ? Rude words ( apart from my name :-) )

Hi all

Thanks Peter for that report , I wondered who would be first !

That was my "Aussie waters" list as well and I did see the Southern Fulmar ! :-) No Grey Petrels were recorded, so that was about the only "expected bird" that was missed.

A fantastic trip, and as Peter said , full on whilst in Australian territory which finished at 1.07 P.M. on the 30th of November, 2007.
It was like counting down to New Year !

The interaction with the wildlife , Penguins , Elephant Seals , Albatross in particular was beyond my expectations. Also the smaller birds, such as Robins, Pipits, Red-crowned Parakeets , Double-banded Plovers on Enderby and Campbell Islands were very tame and friendly. Even the Snipe on Enderby Island were close to you and not darting off too quickly. You could imagine yourself as one of the first to discover the Islands where the wildlife held no fear of man.

The recovery of both Campbell and Enderby Islands after the NZ Government eradicated rats, rabbits etc is phenomenal and the vegetation and nesting sea birds are obviously the winners.

With the 2009 eradication plan for Macca now in place, you can see what a huge difference this will make. The current situation on Macca with the rats and rabbits out of control and the erosion caused by loss of vegetation and the destruction of eggs and chicks of burrowing Petrels etc is not sustainable.

My personal highlights of the trip , apart from the new Aussie "ticks" :-) , were the day at Sandy Bay at Macca being so close to King and Royal Penguins and watching them interact with themselves and us. The Gentoo's were a beautiful bird too but shyer and did not approach you like the Kings' and Royals'.

Also the King Penguins porpoising in behind the Niads as you went ashore was amazing to see and they did seem to really enjoy it themselves as well !

Seeing nesting Lightly-mantled Sooty Albatross at close quarters on Enderby Island and then seeing them in good numbers (9 out of our 12 days at sea) , including out our "bedroom" porthole window was just amazing.

Sitting for hours watching at close quarters ( 5 metres away) nesting Southern Royal Albatross on Campbell Island.

Some estimates ( from the base crew on Macquarie Island ) of the populations of birds on Macca may interest some people :

King Penguin     300,000 individuals and increasing

Gentoo Penguin    3,000 to 4,000 pairs and stable

Rockhopper Penguin    >100,000 pairs and decreasing

Royal Penguin               >1,000,000 pairs and increasing

Wandering Albatross     ?  20 pairs

Black-browed Albatross    ~ 100 pairs

Grey-headed Albatross     ~100 pairs

Lightly-mantled Sooty Albatross   ~5,000 pairs

Northern Giant Petrel     ~1800 pairs

Southern Giant Petrel     ~2500 pairs

White-headed Petrel   ~1000 pairs

Soft-plumaged Petrel   ~ 50 pairs

Blue Petrel < 500 pairs no know breeding success for a while

Grey Petrel                ~85 pairs

Sooty Shearwater       ~1000 pairs

Antarctic Prion    > 100,000 pairs

Fairy Prion   < 20 pairs

Fulmar Prion   1-5 pairs

Grey-backed Storm Petrel    < 5 pairs

Common Diving Petrel     < 10 pairs

Macquarie Island Shag     600 pairs

Mallard Duck    < 100 pairs

Black Duck   < 100 pairs

Brown Skua    ~ 1000 pairs

Kelp Gull        < 500 pairs

Antarctic Tern     < 50 pairs

Redpoll very few but increasing since a very cold winter a few years ago

Starling    very few


Dick Jenkin
Dungog NSW

Peter Marsh wrote:
Dear Birders,
A large contingent of Aussie birders were on board a recent voyage of the 
Spirit of Enderby to Macquarie Island and the New Zealand sub-antarctic islands 
run by Heritage Expeditions. The intrepid throng showed good national spirit 
and doubled their (already significant) birding efforts as we crossed the 
international boundary into Australian waters and only relaxed (relatively) as 
we exited those waters.


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