Saturday, August 13, 2011

Arctic Tern at Hillarys Boat Harbour

LATEST UPDATE: Still present and showing well late this afternoon (13/08)

An Arctic Tern is currently hanging out around Hillarys Boat Harbour in Perth's northern suburbs. The bird has been very co-operative and allowed close views, but appears in reasonable health. It was initially seen on the 4th August by Michael Hancock, then again by others on the 5th and 6th. It's now been seen again by a number of people on the 11th and 12th August.

Arctic Tern at Hillarys Boat Harbour.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Perth Seawatching Sites

If our previous post has got anyone fired up about seawatching (how could it not have?), this follow-up outlines the major seawatching locations around in the greater Perth area. Seawatching anywhere requires patience and many long hours of watching to reap the rewards of potential rarities, but this is particularly so on the Perth coast, where a good deal of effort is often required just to see commoner species! However, if you are prepared to put in the time, you may be rewarded with interesting sightings of seabirds usually only seen well offshore.

The best seawatching conditions usually occur from late May through to August with the passage of strong cold fronts. Ideally, a strong wind (25knts or more) with a reasonable westerly component is needed to bring seabirds close to the coast, particularly if the wind remains strong for 2-3 days or more. However, you may be lucky and pick up one or two seabirds in lighter winds. Morning is generally the best time of day for seabird activity, particularly the first few hours after sunrise, with activity often dropping away somewhat in the afternoon.

Wilson's Storm-Petrel, photographed from North Mole in Fremantle