Sea-eagle and Little Penguin seen at Long Reef, northern Sydney 27 August

Hi all
having failed to see any skuas on a pair of Tasmanian pelagic trips last weekend, I tried my luck this afternoon at Long Reef, on Sydney’s northern beaches. There were 2 distant birds that were likely Brown Skuas, and one that came closer in when attracted by a feeding melee of Crested Terns and Silver Gulls. There were big numbers of shearwaters offshore, particularly Fluttering-types – in one 2 minute stretch I counted 130 birds passing in front of the scope. Quite a few Wedge-tailed Shearwaters out in the mix too and about a dozen albatross close enough to ID – 1 Shy-type, 1 Black-browed and 10 Yellow-nosed.
However, the most interesting observation was a White-bellied Sea-eagle and a Little Penguin. Neither species would be that unusual at Long Reef, but in this case the eagle had caught the penguin and carried it to the reef where it eventually subdued its very feisty victim after about 20 minutes. There were 2 Australian Ravens that were keen to get in on the action which didn’t help when the penguin was still very much alive and pecking.
I also saw an Eastern Osprey with an impressive catch – a large grey coloured fish.
All this in about 75 minutes from 2-3:15pm, when I decided to head home before the rain clouds looming up from the south got to me.
Tom Wilson

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