Good year for Cape Foulwind sooty shearwaters
Reuben Lane and Kerry-Jayne Wilson inspected sooty shearwater burrows at Cape Foulwind last Friday and breeding success looks better than ever.
They found three adults still incubating their eggs, four chicks and nine adult shearwaters that sat tight on their nests indicating they were either incubating an egg or brooding a young chick.
Shearwaters lay only one egg each year, thus there could be 16 breeding attempts this year; the previous best was 10 in the 2014/15 season. The birds nest in very thick scrub above the seal colony walkway.
It’s possible to see the sooties as we like to call them circling overhead then crash landing in the scrub during the hour after sundown. The best place to watch from is at the junction with the path to the Wall Island lookout.
Please do not leave the walkway, you will not see them after they land and you could damage fragile nest areas. (The birds enter their long, fragile burrows within seconds of landing and you cannot see them inside their nesting burrows.)