29 October 2011 – a spectacle and 5 albatrosses…

With predictions looking reasonable, we embarked on yet another Zest for Birds pelagic trip today (Trevor co-guiding with John Graham, Barrie Rose and Alvin Cope). The trip down False Bay was very quiet except for a distant Southern Right Whale and, once we rounded Cape Point, it took a while before we started encountering pelagic species. The first birds added to the list included Cape Gannet, White-chinned Petrel, Sooty Shearwater and Arctic Skua. Slightly further out, we also started encountering Great Shearwaters and our first albatross of the day, Shy Albatross as well as brief views of a Bryde’s Whale.

Great Shearwater

Shy Albatross

After eventually locating a trawler in the distance, we set off in her direction. Getting close to the trawler, we immediately started adding new species like Black-browed and Atlantic and Indian Yellow-nosed Albatrosses, Southern and Northern Giant Petrels, Pintado Petrels and Wilson’s Storm Petrels. Careful scanning through the flocks also added Pomarine and Subantarctic Skuas and Sabine’s Gull before Barrie picked up on one of the better birds of the day, a fine Spectacled Petrel, a species that is not very easy to pin down at all in our waters. In fact, this is the first one we have had on our pelagic trips this year, so was a welcome addition to the list.

Approaching the trawler

Atlantic Yellow-nosed Albatross

Northern Giant Petrel

Pintado Petrel

Sabine's Gull

Spectacled Petrel

Not long after this bird, Trevor picked up a white-backed Albatross heading towards the boat and, before long, we were being afforded great views of a cracking Wandering Albatross which turned out to be incredibly friendly sitting on the water close to the boat for all to see and photograph. Our 5th species of albatross for the day!

Eventually, it was time to turn for home – the trip back produced most of the same species as seen earlier in the day with the added distraction of a couple of Humpback Whales and 2 Oceanic Sunfish. Not a bad haul at the end of the day…

Wandering Albatross


~ by hardakerwildlife on November 8, 2011.

One Response to “29 October 2011 – a spectacle and 5 albatrosses…”

  1. It looks like a dream day .. !
    With nice pics 🙂


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