Taiaroa Head pelagic 16th April

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Richard Schofield
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Joined: Fri Jul 03, 2009 3:46 pm
Location: Balclutha
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Taiaroa Head pelagic 16th April

Postby Richard Schofield » Sat Apr 20, 2019 11:30 am

Tuesday 16th April saw 8 of us, plus skipper Rachel and a team from Dunedin Wildlife Hospital releasing a rehabilitated Northern Giant Petrel, brave the force 2 winds (and not insignificant swell) off Taiaroa Head. The plan was to get a good few kms out to sea, but this was scuppered when we reached the harbour entrance and saw clouds of birds a couple of km offshore. Closer inspection revealed that these were mainly gulls, involving all 3 species in significant quantities, but with other seabirds among them; there were larger than normal gatherings of Cape Petrels, both forms of Giant Petrel, a Campbell Mollymawk, a single Buller’s Shearwater, and a Reef Heron. A bonus was the feeding Humpback Whale just off Taiaroa Head.
Seabirds
• Black-billed Gull 500
• Red-billed Gull 2000
• Black-backed Gull 500
• Caspian Tern 2
• Black-fronted Tern 1
• White-fronted Tern 150 (100)
• Buller’s Mollymawk 6 (3)
• Shy Mollymawk 25 (13)
• Campbell Mollymawk 1
• Southern Royal Albatross 12 (5)
• Northern Royal Albatross 7 (6)
• Southern Giant Petrel 2 (1)
• Northern Giant Petrel 2 (2)
• Cape Petrel 150 (120)
• White-chinned Petrel 30 (20)
• Buller’s Shearwater 1
• Sooty Shearwater 80 (34)
• Hutton’s/Fluttering Shearwater 4 (3)
• Little Shag 100 (93)
• Stewart Island (Otago) Shag 100 (85 at colony)
• Spotted Shag 6 (all in harbour)
• Reef Heron 1 on rocks below lighthouse
• Royal Spoonbill 1 juvenile below lighthouse
Other birds
• Black Swan 92 on mudflats in harbour
• Feral Pigeon 1 below lighthouse
• SIPO 125 on mudflats in harbour
• Variable Oystercatcher 4 in harbour, 1 below lighthouse
• White-faced Heron 2 in harbour
• Bellbird 1 calling on departure
Other animals
• Humpback Whale 1
• NZ Sea Lion 1 on beach at Aramoana
• NZ Fur Seal several in water with seabird concentrations, and several on rocks at Taiaroa Head
• large shoals of Barracouta
IMG_2462.jpg
Southern Giant Petrel
IMG_2462.jpg (1.15 MiB) Viewed 111 times
IMG_2321.jpg
Cape Petrels
IMG_2321.jpg (1.01 MiB) Viewed 111 times

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