Waikato Seawatch - 2 fulmar+

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Waikato Seawatch - 2 fulmar+

Postby RussCannings » Sat Aug 03, 2019 12:33 pm

Got the green light from my wonderful wife to head out for an early morning seawatch at Papanui Pt (north end of Ruapuke Beach) which is my favourite Waikato west coast seawatching spot that is publically accessible. I try to get out once a winter if possible and it's really only worth the effort when the west winds howl (which they've been doing). Came across 15 SC Cockies on the drive out near Raglan.

Anyway, rain and time constraints limited me to about 45min of seawatching time where I nabbed the following:

White-capped Mollymawk- 1 ad
Giant Petrel sp.- 2 juv
ANTARCTIC FULMAR- 2 seen flying together less than 100m off the point, tacking south just behind the surf break.
Cape Pigeon- 1
Grey-faced Petrel- 2 at the point, 1 off the beach.
Fairy Prion- 5+
Fluttering Shearwater- 10+
Gannet- 15+
WF Tern- 50+

Fur seal- 1

Checked out Ruapuke Beach as well but waves were covering the sand and no sign of any beached birds.

Great time to play with a scope!

Russ C
Morrinsville, NZ
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Re: Waikato Seawatch - 2 fulmar+

Postby rukuhia » Thu Aug 08, 2019 1:42 pm

I went over today to check for beach wrecks on ruapuke but only saw a couple of prion. The most upsetting thing was the amount of plastic on the beach. All along the high tide mark over the length of the beach had various sizes and types of plastic. We haven’t left a good environment for our children.
Bob Rigter
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David Riddell
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Re: Waikato Seawatch - 2 fulmar+

Postby David Riddell » Fri Aug 09, 2019 8:25 am

Thanks for the report Bob, I've been wondering if I should get out and have a look with all the strong winds recently, even though it's only a couple of weeks since I last did a beach patrol. I've been keeping a close eye here and on iNaturalist NZ and suspected there wasn't much coming in from the lack of reports, but good to have that confirmed.
Yes, the amount of plastic on beaches can be alarming - when I first started going out to Waikorea (2016) there was a huge amount, though oddly enough in recent times there's been much less, though that must be quirks of the waves and currents rather than any change in the amount of plastic out there. Will be interesting to see what's come in to Waikorea next time.

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