Tuesday, January 20, 2009

First sharkgull spotted in Australia

Long believed to be extinct in territorial Australia - but occasionally seen on off-shore islands that do not lie in Australian territorial waters - this great snap of Accipiter selachimorpha (the Common sharkgull) was taken by C. Marter while the bird roosted on the roof of a local eatery near Gosford NSW.  Until this gory discovery missing livestock in the Gosford area had been explained as theft.

The single bird was seen and photographed by C. Marter and seen by most members of the Mid Coast Birdwatchers Guild on 12/1/2009.  The sighting needs to be officially recognised by BARC before it can be added to the Australian lists.

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

Harry, Your claim that sharkgulls are extinct on mainland Australia is not correct. They were once reasonably common around Albany WA. There are even two early records - admittedly disputed - of small flocks of sharkgulls attacking Noisy scrub birds around Two People's Bay in the heathland.

HANZAB Vol 2 or any other reputable source could have confirmed this if you had checked.

Audubon Audrey

hc said...

Audrey none of your claims are verified (by HANZAB or anything else) and the mainstream science is clear on this.

The sharkgull denialists have been discredited but that does not mean that these exotic creatures are likely to turn up anywhere. A few have tried to pin down the extinction of Australia's megafauna to sharkgull clustering but this is fanciful and non-ESS.

Moreover, sharkgulls are known to have cannibalist tendencies so flocking too would not be an ESS.

The more plausible story is that sharkgulls have in the past been restricted to a few individuals in the most remote islands of the Indonesian archipelego.

That's why the current photographic confirmation of their presence in SE Australia is such a find.

Anonymous said...

Stop putting on the dog, Harry. What's ESS?

BTW what else explains the near extinction of the Noisy SBs?

Audrey A.

Anonymous said...

I just want to say how tedious I think it it for you to post this brazen hoax on birding-aus.

Why don't you grow up Harry? I know you think you are funny but I have to question your motives.

Your life list is pathetic and you still cannot distinguish a Brown thornbill from a Striated thornbill. You are pathetic and your beer gut disgusts me.

How they ever give you a job in a university is beyond me.

Wendy the twitcher

conrad said...

THat's great.

davidp said...

Do they taste like more like flake or chicken?

hc said...

Some philistine has always got to raise the issue of how endangered species taste.

Actually David the early settlers record the sharkgull as having an oily texture and recommend adapting muttonbird recipes.

Modern sharkgull cuisine has tended to show more of an Italian influence.

I am just happy that this remarkable species survives without wishing to harm them in any way.

davidp said...

It looks like they can look after themselves (I am not sure who I'd back in sharkgull vs shooter) - so their fair game (literally)

hc said...

Audrey, I try to keep personal abuse to mminimium levels on this blog. Please respect my wishes in this regard. I am on a diet.

The Noisy scrub birds disappeared at about the time Sharkgulls disappeared at Two People's Bay. The inference of an Easter Island effect is obvious.

ESS you cute little ignoramus means 'Evolutionary Stable Strategy'. God the excuses I make for dumb female twitchers on the basis of their physiques.

Some fairly sordid rationalisations from Davidp. These should be set in concrete and buried.

This thread has been picked up by a discerning AusPhotography.