Arabian (Persian) Shearwaters off Darwin

October 13, 2010

About 100 nautical miles west of Darwin over Flat Top Bank, we encountered the first of several groups of small to medium-sized shearwaters. The six birds initially seen were in heavily overcast conditions and because they appeared dark, were called as Hutton’s Shearwaters.

However, photographs confirmed we were in fact looking at Arabian Shearwater Puffinus persicus.

In the end, we saw seven groups, the largest of which comprised about 35 birds. So this would appear to be not only a first for Australia but also a substantial wintering ground. Evidence currently available to us points to these being Arabian Shearwater, a bird that breeds in the far north west Indian Ocean.


Approximate location of birds seen betweem 13-21 October. Arrangements have been made for a pelagic to see these birds leaving Darwin on the 6th November. Contact Simon Mustoe 0405 220830.

Wildlife

Seabirds 1 species
Persian Shearwater (Puffinus persicus) 50 Many more than this in the general area. Largest flock seen was 35 birds.

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