I can only answer the last question on your list. There are a number of
spots along the Victorian coast that are okay (thought I don't know any are
"as good" as Maroubra). I spent some time at Pt Addis last year and ended
up seeing a lot of Shy Albatross, some Black-browed Albatross and at least
one Yellow-nosed Albatross, and a lot of Shearwaters (probably Short-tailed,
but too far away). These were all unidentifiable by binoculars, so my scope
was necessary. You need 2 things as I understand, a headland jutting out
into non-protected water, and a windy day, the windier the better. I have
been to Pt Addis at other times and seen nothing. I would be fascinated to
hear what specifically it is that makes Maroubra so profitable for
On Fri, Jun 27, 2008 at 1:04 PM, Peter Shute <> wrote:
> Doesn't sound very promising or inviting, Tony.
> I often see sea watch reports here from people who have been observing
> at Maroubra. Would some of the people who submit those reports like to
> comment on this subject? Specifically:
> - Did you learn your id skills on pelagics trips?
> - What percentage of the birds you id from that location are you unable
> to id?
> - How close in are these birds coming?
> - What optics are you using to see what you see, what magnifications,
> - Is there something special about Maroubra that brings them closer?
> - Are there other spots just as good? How about in Victoria?
> Peter Shute
> wrote on Friday, 27 June 2008 9:31 AM:
> > Dear David, most of us are stumped by seabirds. The only way
> > through the problem is to go on pelagic trips, get sick, then
> > listen to what other people, who allege to know what they are
> > talking about, identify the passing birds as . You then go
> > home with a list of sightings which you hope have some
> > credibility. But you won't be much the wiser, especially on
> > some of the more difficult species.
> > Tough ain't it. Tony.
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From:
> > On Behalf Of David Adams
> > Sent: Thursday, June 26, 2008 5:29 PM
> > To: Birding-Aus
> > Subject: [Birding-Aus] Advice on identifying Albatrosses from shore
> > I'm writing in to ask for some advice on learning more about
> > identifying Albatross from shore. I really never go on pelagics (too
> > disorganized) so I haven't made a lot of progress. For years
> > I've been staring off of headlands at large seabirds with
> > binoculars wondering "are those Albatross or are they
> > immature Gannets?" I bought a scope last year with a 20-60x
> > zoom and have it mounted on a swivel head so that I can track
> > birds in flight. I went out to Blue Point (Bermagui, Far
> > South Coast NSW) this morning and end up staring at distant
> > birds wondering "are those Albatross or are they immature
> > Gannets?" ;-) Actually, with the scope I can tell that some
> > of them aren't Gannets...but I have little idea how to go
> > about sorting out which species they may be.
> > I've had a look at the SOSSA (Southern Ocean Seabird Study
> > Association) site which is a good start but am looking for
> > more advice or references. (The month-by-month guide at SOSSA
> > is very helpful, by the way.) I have lots of bird field
> > guides but none devoted specifically to seabirds. Is there
> > something I should be getting? Andrew Isles sent along a note
> > just today that there's a new book out on the subject of
> > albatrosses but it doesn't sound like a field guide.
> > I regularly see reports on this list from people confidently
> > identifying various sorts of Albatross they've spotted from
> > shore so there must be a way to do it. Are there headlands
> > where the birds come in close enough for clear identification
> > or are there a series of distinguishing marks that let you
> > sort out the species by process of elimination or some other
> > means? Size is basically useless as a field characteristic
> > for distant birds over water and some of the other field
> > marks would require a close view (color of the bill, color of
> > the tip of the bill, color behind the eye, etc.) so I'm a bit stumped.
> > Suggestions much appreciated! I suspect others may have the
> > same question I do so please post back answers to the list,
> > if possible.
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