Sea Watching Help - Vic

To: "" <>
Subject: Sea Watching Help - Vic
From: James Mustafa <>
Date: Thu, 24 Jul 2014 11:07:34 +1000
Hi all,

On the 18th of July, I went down to Cape Schanck to do a bit of sea
watching - hoping to have some success due to the excellent conditions
(south westerly winds, recent storms etc).

I have some notes below on a possible Grey-headed Albatross and Blue Petrel
that I believe that I encountered. I have not ticked or confirmed either as
I am not the most experienced sea watcher but I do remember clearly what I
saw, so I'm after people's opinions on the matter.

I have been through a lot of discussion with a number of birders now all
with great advice and opinions on these birds. Would love to hear more
thoughts! I was pretty positive on the Blue Petrel, but as I have no
experience with this species I have not added to my list.

So here are my notes:
Possible Grey-headed Albatross: Whilst scouring the ocean, I spotted what I
initially thought was another Buller's Albatross. Before dismissing it, I
noticed that it did not have the white cap that I normally associate with
this species. I have however seen a Buller's before without much of a light
cap but upon closer inspection it seemed less and less like a Buller's. It
came in much closer than the Buller's did directionly from out to sea kind
of heading towards land. It flew quite differently to the Buller's I have
seen in the past. It soared with much elegance above the water, though the
Buller's had seem to fly a lot higher off the water. Buller's head colour a
lot lighter too. A paler grey as opposed to this very dark grey. Little
wing movement whatsoever. It was an adult bird with an entirely dark grey
head that extended across the neck into the dark brown black wings and
back. The dark, shady grey colour almost seemed velvety and would gleam
when the sun hit it. Beak had the thick black in the centre with goldeny
yellow upper and lower bill. I also observed a dark eye. Underwings were
quite dark along the front and back wing edges with obvious black streaks
on the leading edge that reminded me of fingers. White rump with dark tail
tip. It was these elements that led me to the presumption of a possible
Grey-headed Albatross.

Possible Blue Petrel (2): About 30 minutes apart. 1st at 2.27 and 2nd at
2.58. Close into shore coming from west. Small, blue wash with dark head
and bill. Tiny little white tail tip. White underneath with prominent dark
collar and good. Presumed Blue Petrel, unable to confirm 100%
Birding-Aus mailing list

To change settings or unsubscribe visit:

<Prev in Thread] Current Thread [Next in Thread>
  • Sea Watching Help - Vic, James Mustafa <=

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