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Wedge-tailed Shearwater at Cable Seashore – 10,000 Birds


    On Wednesday fifth October I headed off on my bicycle to Cable Seashore to stroll from the Surf Membership in the direction of Gantheaume Level. I had hoped to search out Pied Oystercatchers that also had chicks, however sadly that isn’t the case. The climate was excellent for a protracted stroll anyway with a excessive of round 30c and a breeze off the Indian Ocean, so I continued alongside the seaside. The tides weren’t shifting a lot in any respect that day, so there have been solely a handful of shorebirds. The resident Crimson-capped Plovers had been nipping up and down the seaside and the migratory Sanderling, Better Sand Plovers and Crimson-necked Stint had been additionally operating round chasing the little crabs. There have been a number of bluebottles washed up on account of a number of days of tough seas and I wasn’t going to get my ft moist with these within the Indian Ocean!


    As I approached Gantheaume Level, the place there are buoys for mooring this time of yr, I noticed a chook bobbing within the Indian Ocean. It clearly wasn’t a Brown Booby, which regularly roost on the buoys or within the ocean presently of yr. The header picture is my first distant picture of the chook I noticed at 10.45am. The wind was west/north westerly and over current days there had been an inflow of birds that may usually be seen additional offshore. The chook gave the impression to be exhausted and permitting the tide to maneuver it in the direction of the shoreline and I watched and waited.

    By 11.05am the seabird was a lot nearer to shore and could possibly be recognized as a Wedge-tailed Shearwater. It continued to come back nearer to shore, however was additionally being moved alongside by the tide and was going north parallel to the seaside. We have now noticed Wedge-tailed Shearwaters after tropical cyclones on Cable Seashore, however as deceased specimens and never alive like this.

    Wedge-tailed Shearwater

    Because the Wedge-tailed Shearwater got here nearer to shore it obtained caught up within the shallows and the small waves. Among the waves it was capable of surf, identical to the Black Swans have performed previously right here, however different waves got here by means of and it was clearly dumped.

    Browsing Wedge-tailed Shearwater

    I used to be simply contemplating if I wanted to make a name to the native wildlife rescue folks to take it in for a short while to get well when it determined to take flight. It didn’t go too far, however past the breaking waves, which was undoubtedly a great transfer!

    Wedge-tailed Shearwater in flight

    Wedge-tailed Shearwater within the Indian ocean

    I continued on my approach heading north again to the surf membership and the Wedge-tailed Shearwater was additionally persevering with to move north. I don’t suppose it had an excessive amount of management over the course it was getting pulled by the tide, however in deeper water it was not getting dumped by the waves. I noticed the Wedge-tailed Shearwater for simply over an hour over a 5 kilometre stretch of Cable Seashore.

    Within the coming months we’ll head into our cyclone season and see what else will get blown in the direction of the Australian mainland. There’s at all times one thing happening at Cable Seashore if you are interested in birds.