White-bellied Storm-Petrel off Port Douglas.

To: Del Richards <>, "" <>, Sean Dooley <>
Subject: White-bellied Storm-Petrel off Port Douglas.
From: David James <>
Date: Fri, 6 May 2011 21:32:50 -0700 (PDT)
Hi Del,
Nice! here are some storm-petrel records for the Coral Sea:
I did a trip in May 1997 from Townsville to the Mouth of the Fly and then east 
round the coast of PNG to the mouth of the Sepik, aboard the RV Franklin. Left 
Tsvl on the 8th, headed north inside the reef and saw 3 Brown Boobies between 
12:20 and 18:00! 
On the 9th we crossed from the GBR to the Qld Trough at dawn, about the 
latitude of Cape Tribulation: 1 Fluttering Shearwater,  1 WFSP, 1 WISP and 2 
BBSP (+ Tahiti Petrel, Streaked and Wedege-tailed Sheawaters, terns, boobies, 
On 10th, in NE Coral Sea 1 adult Long-tailed Jaeger, no storm-petrels.
14-15 june 1997, Cairns to Herald Cays, aboard a small charter boat. On 15th: 1 
WISP, 1 WFSP and 1 BBSP . 
28-29 June, Herald Cays to Cairns, aboard a small charter boat. From dawn to 
midday on the 29th  over the Coral sea plateau (relatively shallow) and from 
midday to 15:00 over the Qld Trench (deep), and then into the GBR. In the 
morning 10 WBSP, 1 BBSP and 1 WISP. over the Trench 8 BBSP. On the reef, no 
storm-petrels. Somewhere outside the reef (notes not clear) there was an 
all-dark storm-petrel the size of a Fregatta but wings possibly more 
angular like an Oceanodroma (brief views in poor light). 
13-17 Sept 1998, Cairns to Herald and Coringa Cays, and return aboard a Navy 
Patrol Boat: no storm-petrels or jaegers of any kind.  
Stokes & Corben (1985: Corella 9: 25-9) reported on an 11 day survey of the 
coral sea and GBR in May in 1981. They recorded WISP, WFSP, WBSP and BBSP 
over vast areas, but in the n. GBR only storm-petrel was 1 WISP and no 
I haven't heard of very many records of all dark WBSP in mainland waters. I'd 
be interested to know why you eliminate Swinhoes especially and other all 
dark Oceanodroma spp?    
From: Del Richards <>
To: ; Sean Dooley <>
Sent: Saturday, 7 May 2011 11:04 AM
Subject: White-bellied Storm-Petrel off Port Douglas.

    On Tuesday 3rd May I was on a reef fishing charter out of Port Douglas when 
I observed an all dark storm-petrel for a time within forty metres of the 
vessel that I was on.
    I am familiar with Wilson's Storm-Petrel which I have seen here on three 
occassions on such charters, however this bird lacked any white or pale 
features at all. On checking field guides I identified it as a dark morph of 
the White-bellied Storm-Petrel. The location was at Batt Reef (16o 26' E 145o 
47' S) about eleven nautical miles east of Port Douglas.
    That day followed about a week of sustained south-easterly onshore winds 
reaching almost thirty knots. At the time winds were from that direction at 
about twelve knots.
    I had Martin Cachard who has wide experience with pelagics check with my 
    In my view there is something of a void in knowledge with Barrier Reef 
waters as few birders get to spend time in the region for sustained periods. 
Admittedly some records are within the confines of university student reports 
which (sadly) don't seem to reach the notice of the birding fraternity.
    Some years ago I observed a Pomarine Jaeger off Snapper Island which lies 
adjacent to the mouth of the Daintree River. To me that also was most 
unexpected. Given the lack of competent observers afloat in the area there is 
probably more pelagic seabird movement than is realised.

Del. Richards, Fine Feather Tours, Mossman, NQ.

E-mail message checked by Spyware Doctor (
Database version: 6.16310

To unsubscribe from this mailing list,
send the message:
(in the body of the message, with no Subject line)

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