New Zealand Storm-petrel seen off Port Stephens, NSW (and 2nd record alr

To: Birding Aus <>
Subject: New Zealand Storm-petrel seen off Port Stephens, NSW (and 2nd record already)
From: Mick Roderick <>
Date: Sun, 28 Mar 2010 23:29:00 -0700 (PDT)
Hi everyone,

A bird that was almost certainly a New Zealand Storm-petrel was seen by 12 
observers on a pelagic trip that I ran off Port Stephens yesterday. We all had 
good to reasonable views of the bird, which was seen just to the north of 32 57 
10 / 152 36 35 (sorry, no GPS co-ordinates were taken at the time of the 
observation but it would have been very close to this point, less than a 
nautical mile anyway) at about 1215 yesterday afternoon. 

Without going into too much detail about the bird, it clearly possessed all of 
the distinguishing features of a NZ Storm-petrel, most notably the dark 
"streaked" markings on the belly and flanks. Also distinguishing the bird from 
Fregetta Storm-petrels were the size, projection of legs beyond the tail, the 
amount of white on the rump and behaviour (jizz was similar to Wilson's which 
were around the boat also). Images can be seen at ;
 - I hope the link works.

Myself and Allan Richardson have been trawling through all of the available 
information and it appears that there is little doubt in the identification of 
the bird as a New Zealand Storm-petrel. This I believe would be a first for 

But get this - I was contacted by Dan Mantle just a few hours ago. Dan is 
currently aboard the SOSSA Deep Sea pelagic trip off Ulladulla. Remarkably, 
they had a NZ Stormy around their boat at about 0900 this morning! Their 
observation was about 10nm east of the shelf. They had excellent views and have 
better photographs than our bird (which never really came within 40 or 50m of 
the boat). So we have a probable Australian first and then the second record 
the following day!

The chances of this being the same bird as ours are likely to be quite remote 
(happy to be proven wrong). Perhaps there are some birds "moving through" with 
the Wilson's Storm-petrels, or got "caught up" with them? Wilson's are in good 
numbers at the moment - we had about 40 around the boat at one stage and Dan 
informs me that the deep sea trip had 100+ at one point. Clearly we know 
extremely little about anything to do with NZ Stormies, let alone what their 
movements etc might be, but with 2 records off the NSW central / south coasts 
in 24 hours, it may not be a ridiculous suggestion that the species could be 
targeted at the moment. I can provide contact details for a boat that can run 
off Port Stephens if people are that keen!

Full trip reports will follow for the double-header pelagics that I ran off 
Port Stephens on the weekend. And what an amazing weekend it was. Apart from 
the NZ Stormy, we also had a Common Noddy and one, maybe 2 Gould's Petrels 
yesterday (and about 60-80 Wilson's SP), and on Saturday we had a White-bellied 
Storm-petrel, Tahiti Petrel, 2 Streaked Shearwaters and became what surely must 
be the first pelagic trip to record both Brown and Red-footed Boobies on the 
same day off NSW.


Mick Roderick

To unsubscribe from this mailing list,
send the message:
(in the body of the message, with no Subject line)
<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>

The University of NSW School of Computer and Engineering takes no responsibility for the contents of this archive. It is purely a compilation of material sent by many people to the birding-aus mailing list. It has not been checked for accuracy nor its content verified in any way. If you wish to get material removed from the archive or have other queries about the archive e-mail Andrew Taylor at this address: andrewt@cse.unsw.EDU.AU