A natural history blog by Greg Roberts, Sunshine Coast, Australia
Sunshine Coast Birds
Birding and other wildlife experiences from the Sunshine Coast and elsewhere in Australia - and from overseas - with scribblings about travel, environmental issues, kayaking, hiking and camping.
Saturday, 5 November 2011
Sunshine Coast November 2011 Pelagic
Our second pelagic birding trip off Mooloolaba on the Sunshine Coast today turned up an estimated 50 Mottled Petrels - an extraordinarily high number for this species, which is scarce in Australian waters. Thanks here to Paul Barden for the great pictures. Conditions were a little choppy with E-ESE winds at around 12-14 knots all day, but these proved ideal for seabirds. We spent 4.5 hours on the continental shelf about 35 nautical miles east of Mooloolaba.
These petrels were very likely en route from wintering grounds in the North Pacific to breeding colonies in New Zealand.
One of the stars today was this Red-footed Booby, always a scarce species in southeast Queensland. This was an adult intermediate phase bird.
We had about 8 Pomarine Jaegers offshore, showing keen interest in our shark liver berley.
About 10 Tahiti Petrels were seen - always nice.
Along with a similar number of Flesh-footed Shearwaters - Short-tailed and Wedge-tailed Shearwaters were more numerous.
This storm-petrel had us fooled at first. A clear white belly indicated White-bellied but the photographs revealed a faint black line, so it's a Black-bellied Storm-Petrel.
Some mammals also - a few humpback whales and these Pantropical Spotted Dolphins
On board the catamaran Cat-a-Pult with skipper Paddy.