Not sure why this didn't go through the first time ? Too long ? Rude
words ( apart from my name :-) )
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
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
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
Starling very few
Peter Marsh wrote:
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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