Shearwater wreck Mid-North Coast NSW

To: Chris <>
Subject: Shearwater wreck Mid-North Coast NSW
From: Penny Brockman <>
Date: Thu, 12 Nov 2009 22:22:21 +1100
Following Chris's report, I was at Farquahar Inlet, just south of Taree, NSW Mid-North Coast on Tuesday 10th November, and counted 111 dead Short-tailed Shearwaters walking the length of the beach along the Little Tern enclosure from the inlet to opposite the beach car entry from the second car park. Also one dead Common Noddy.
And a dead stingray about 45cm wide.

No shearwaters seen out to sea. But at Wallabi Point, two Humpbacks were displaying - looked like a mother and calf as one was much smaller and was breaching one third out of the water, while the larger was mainly bashing the water with its flippers - watched for 10 minutes and left them still at it.
They're washing up dead and dying in Sydney.

From 2 days ago (10 Nov 2009):

Mutton birds just dead tired
10 Nov, 2009 04:00 AM
HARDLY a day goes by without Cronulla lifeguard Cameron Pyett getting asked 
about the dead birds washed up on the beach.
increasing number of dead mutton birds had washed up on the sand in
recent weeks, after perishing on their way home from a long migration.
While some residents have put it down to unusually strong winds for this time of year, the experts say it is nothing new. "It happens every year,'' Mr Pyett said. "But there are usually not as many as I have seen this year.''
The birds generally die of exhaustion while attempting to complete a remarkable 
migratory round-trip of about 15,000 kilometres.
Parks and Wildlife Services officer, Geoff Ross, said this was a
natural event, with the birds flying from Australia to the northern
hemisphere, and back.
"The birds we see now have died on the last leg of their journey heading south 
back to Australian shores,'' Mr Ross said.
they encounter severe weather or have trouble locating sufficient fish
stocks along the way then they will struggle and some will succumb and
eventually wash up on beaches.''
But not all of the birds that
wash up are dead and a WIRES spokeswoman said the service had been
``inundated'' with calls about how to care for exhausted birds.
asked those who found live birds to keep them in a box, away from
predators, and to either take them to a vet or wait until a WIRES
volunteer arrived. She urged people not to feed the exhausted birds or offer them water as it could cause shock. Cronulla Veterinary Clinic took in six ailing birds last week but they were so malnourished none survived.
Call: 13000 WIRES
Mutton bird facts:
- Also known as short-tailed shearwaters, or sea birds
They were hunted by the early Norfolk Island settlers for food and it
is thought this is where the common name "mutton bird'' came from
- Breeds on small Bass Strait islands and Tasmania, then migrates to the 
Northern Hemisphere
- One of the few Australian native birds that is harvested commercially  for 
its feathers, flesh and oil
- They do not come to shore during their migration, often flying 15,000 
kilometres in six weeks.
Do you think there have been more dead birds on the beach this year?


From: "" <>
Sent: Thu, 12 November, 2009 1:09:54 PM
Subject: [Birding-Aus] Shearwater wreck - Vict?

Am after the advice of Victorian list members, especially those visiting the coast or doing pelagic trips.

Has anyone heard about or observed shearwaters sitting in the water close to shore or on beaches recently?

Apparently numbers of Short-tailed Shearwaters have been observed in and around Griffiths Island near Port Fairy recently.

Martin O'Brien
Wildlife Biologist - Threatened Species & Communities Section
Department of Sustainability and Environment
2/8 Nicholson St.,
East Melbourne  3002


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