NSW - Sea watch from Magic Pt, Maroubra - 7th June 08

To: "birding australia" <>
Subject: NSW - Sea watch from Magic Pt, Maroubra - 7th June 08
From: "Edwin Vella" <>
Date: Sun, 8 Jun 2008 15:53:54 +1000
Yesterday afternoon (7/6/08), David Mitford and I enjoyed a good sea watch from 
Magic Pt in Maroubra (approx. 10 km south of Sydney CBD). Winds that afternoon 
were not too strong but were southerly (SW to SE) and late offshore rain was 
developing towards the evening.

Before David arrived and sometime between 2 to 3 pm, I spotted a dark brown 
bird in the distance and for the first few seconds I thought it may have been a 
Giant Petrel but I soon realised it was a very young Wandering Albatross 
(complete dark brown upper-parts except for its white face). I have not come 
accross many very dark Wanderer's before.

There was lots of both Albatross and Gannet feeding activity offshore and we 
watched a few Black-browed Albatross flying just over a small pod of 
Bottle-nosed Dolphins all after the same prey. A few Prions were also observed 
amongst the feeding flocks of Silver Gulls and Crested Terns as well as 
travelling Fluttering Shearwaters.

The main highlight for the afternoon was a good and lengthy look of a fairly 
close in PROVIDENCE PETREL (my only second sighting of this species this year 
and off Magic Pt and David's second sighting from Magic Pt this week. We have 
seen loads of Great-winged Petrels but very few Providence off Magic Pt over 
the years).

An Eastern Reef Egret also flew past Magic Past (as they often do) but 
surprisingly no Humpback Whales.

Our list of seabirds recorded (approximate numbers in brackets) during our 3 
hour afternoon sea watch from Magic Pt included the following:

Fairy Penguin (heard)
Black-browed Abatross (35)
Yellow-nosed Albatross (15)
Wandering Albatross (1)
Prion species (5)
Fluttering Shearwater (50)
Australasian Gannet (200 plus)
Great Cormorant (2)
Silver Gull (200 plus)
Crested Tern (50 plus)

Mammals recorded:

Bottle-nosed Dolphin (3)

David also briefly saw a Rail on the very edge of the reeds in a pool of water 
near Magic which most likely would have been a Lewin's Rail and I also saw 5 
over-wintering Fairy Martins near Magic Pt (Tree Martins often over-winter in 
Sydney and these are the first Fairy Martins I have seen over wintering).


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