Newcastle Seawatch 28/06/2008

To: Birding Aus <>
Subject: Newcastle Seawatch 28/06/2008
From: Mick Roderick <>
Date: Mon, 30 Jun 2008 00:54:24 -0700 (PDT)
Hi all,
The Hunter BOC held their inaugural Seawatch on Saturday 28th June, attended by 
around 20 people (‘inaugural’ in an organised sense, that is). The Seawatch was 
done from Fort Drive, Newcastle (near Nobby’s Beach) which provides a good 
vista onto the ocean at the point where ocean birds seem to come closest to the 
coast at Newcastle (Newcastle Baths). Though having said that, birds generally 
do not appear to come in as close to shore off Newcastle as they do at the 
other well-known seawatching sites (eg Maroubra, Soldiers Point). 
Conditions were favourable for a comfortable and leisurely seawatch, which 
translated as not so ideal conditions for seeing multiple birds. A gentle 
westerly breeze combined with a moderate swell meant that the seas were 
generally calm. We did manage to see some good birds including 2 species of 
Albatross and some Fluttering-type Shearwaters that were just too far away to 
call an ID. A White-fronted Tern made several passes along the rock platform, 
enabling excellent flight views. An Aussie Pelican was seen flying east until 
it was about 2km offshore before doing a u-turn and heading back for the coast 
– we wondered what it’s motives were.
Whale numbers were far fewer than recent weeks though a large, leaping pod of 
Bottlenose Dolphins that joined the surfers off the Cowrie Hole made for a 
great spectacle.
The following were seen on or over the ocean:
Black-browed Albatross – 12
Yellow-nosed Albatross – 2 
Fluttering-type Shearwater – 7
Australasian Gannet – 14Little Pied Cormorant – 2
Pied Cormorant – 2
Great Cormorant – 1
Australian Pelican – 1 
Crested Tern – 11
White-fronted Tern – 1
Silver Gull – 30+
Humpback Whale – 10+
Bottlenose Dolphin – c. 20
We will be running an organised Seawatch off Newcastle monthly, on the last 
weekend of the month or thereabouts. For further info if you are interested, 
contact me at this email.
Mick Roderick

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