03 November 2012 – a day in the mist…
After several weeks of having pelagic trips cancelled due to inclement weather, a trip eventually managed to get out today with Trevor on board as a guide co-guiding with John Graham and Alvin Cope on this Zest for Birds trip. A low mist had set in and remained with us for most of the day leaving us with very poor light indeed, but this only hampered the photography and not the sightings.
The trip south through False Bay delivered numbers of Cape Gannets and the odd White-chinned Petrel and Arctic and Pomarine Skuas along with a brief Bryde’s Whale, but once we rounded Cape Point and reached the open ocean, we were soon joined by Sooty Shearwaters and the first of the day’s Shy Albatrosses whilst a small flock of Sanderling whizzing past the boat a few miles offshore was an interesting sighting as well.
A little further out, we encountered a pair of Humpback Whales which showed us their characteristic dorsal fins and soon, we were also adding things like Wilson’s Storm Petrel, Sabine’s Gull, Black-browed Albatross and Great Shearwater.
Our skipper, Harry, had picked up a trawler on the radar and so we headed off in her direction. As we approached, we could see a cloud of birds in her wake and the excitement levels started to increase. Once closer, the numbers were pretty spectacular and we were soon enjoying the likes of Atlantic and Indian Yellow-nosed Albatrosses, Pintado and Northern Giant Petrels, European Storm Petrel, Subantarctic Skua and numbers of the species already encountered earlier on in the trip.
Unfortunately, despite a lot of careful scanning, there were no rarities to be had on this trip, so eventually, it was time to turn for home. The trip back was pretty uneventful birdwise, but we did manage to encounter Long-beaked Common Dolphin and Oceanic Sunfish before docking, a fitting end to another great day at sea.