Campbell Albatross, my 300th for the Hunter – note the amber eye a key id feature from Black-browed. Also an Australia Tick
Yesterday it was up early to get the pelagic out of Port Stephen’s. Only a couple of days earlier the forecast was such that it would have been cancelled but fortunately conditions improved to permit a sailing. It takes three and a half hours to get to the shelf, allowing three full hours prime oceanic birding. We’d already seen Brown Skua (297) on the way out. Once we got to the shelf we saw our only Indian Yellow-nosed Albatross (298) quickly followed by Providence Petrel (299), leaving just one more species to reach the magic 300! As predicted, it came in the shape of a Campell Albatross – a fairly recent split from Black-browed and, as a bonus, an addition to my all-time Australia List. In addition to the new Hunter species, we had Wedge-tailed, Hutton’s, Fluttering and Short-tailed Shearwater, White-faced Storm Petrel, Australasian Gannet, Wandering (Antipodian) and Shy Albatross (probably White-capped), Bar-tailed Godwit. Not a bad trip!
Brown Skua – the first of the mornings new species
Providence Petrel (Solander’s) – photo courtesy of Dan Williams
Indian Yellow-nosed Albatross – one of five species of Albatross seen