Lord Howe Island - mostly seabirds

To: "" <>
Subject: Lord Howe Island - mostly seabirds
From: Daniel Mantle <>
Date: Sat, 6 Apr 2013 02:52:43 +0100
Only half my last message got through so I will try again.

Cheers Dan


Hi all, 

 a great holiday with the folks and Carl Billingham on Lord Howe Island 
last week. Just thought I would quickly post some of the seabird 
sightings. The weather was fantastic all week and we managed to get out 
to sea four times (3 times to Ball’s Pyramid and once 10km NW of the 
island). We went out three times with Jack Shick and Ian Hutton and once
 with Greenback charters. It was great being out seabirding with such 
enthusiastic, knowledgeable and friendly guys. Very welcoming, as was 
everyone on the island.  I
 was particularly keen to see the dark and intermediate morph 
White-bellied Storm-Petrels but whilst we saw hundreds of White-bellied 
Stormies during the week we only had two brief views of fully dark morph
 birds and several mostly dark morph birds with paler bellies. There 
were quite a few intermediate birds but mostly to the lighter end of the

 other seabird highlights were two White-necked Petrel (apparently quite
 a regular visitor), a single Gould’s Petrel (relatively few records, 
maybe 5 or 6, but almost certainly a more regular and overlooked bird), 
Tahiti Petrel (again only the 6th
 or so record, following a sighting the previous week, but Ian Hutton 
suggested they are probably common in deeper water a bit further from 
the island - he has seen reasonable numbers not far from LHI when 
transferring to the island by sea), and a single Long-tailed Jaeger (I think 
only about the
4th record but again not at all surprising, especially in March) and a couple 
of gouldi Great-winged Petrels.  However,
 the highlight for me was the vast numbers of Providence Petrels coming 
in to Mount Gower in the afternoons. Seeing thousands off the southern 
end of the island and probably thousands more circling up and over Mount
 Gower and Lidgbird was just spectacular.  The
 only unexpected birds we found on the island were a Baillon’s Crake 
that stayed loyal to a short stretch of a grass-fringed stream for at 
least 3 days, an early visiting Swamp Harrier, and the already present 
Coot and Maned Duck at the Old Settlement dam.  Cheers Dan

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