Sea Birding Pelagic Trips South Africa, Cape Town Pelagics


  Trip Reports - Trip report for 1 and 2 September 2006




- 1 Manx Shearwater
- 1st Great Shearwater of the season

We ran back-to-back trips onboard the Obsession, on Friday 1 September and Saturday 2 September, the latter with Dalton Gibbs co-guiding. The trips were very similar, so I have combined the reports. On both days there were no active fishing vessels in the area, despite going further than usual into the deep on the Friday. Nevertheless there was a good diversity of birds on both trips. On Friday we found a seal that had caught a fish and was attracting a lot of attention from birds, and on Saturday we chummed and had albatrosses, petrels, shearwaters and skuas almost landing on the boat in their eagerness to get to the food - too close for some of the photographers' on board in fact!

A major highlight on the Friday was a SOUTHERN ROYAL ALBATROSS, as well as a fabulously confiding MANX SHEARWATER, an unusual winter species but possibly a really early migrant. I also had a brief sighting of the first GREAT SHEARWATER for this season - a couple of days ahead of schedule but not outrageously early. The close encounters with Southern Right Whales on Saturday were spectacular, as they popped up all around the boat. We also got to see what appeared to be a very large White Shark fin circling a whale calf, although nothing more came of the interaction.

Despite the absence of fishing boats, we had excellent birds and whales and two very enjoyable pelagic trips.



  Pelagic birds seen



Southern Royal Albatross Fri
Shy Albatross Fri/Sat
Black-browed Albatross Fri/Sat
Indian Yellow-nosed Alb Fri/Sat
Southern Giant Petrel Sat
Northern Giant Petrel Fri
Giant Petrel sp Fri/Sat
White-chinned Petrel Fri/Sat
Pintado Petrel Fri
Manx Shearwater Fri
Sooty Shearwater Fri/Sat
Wilson's Storm Petrel Fri/Sat
SubAntarctic Skua Fri/Sat
Arctic Tern Fri

  Coastal species seen



African Penguin
Cape Gannet
Kelp Gull
Hartlaub's Gull
Swift Tern
Common Tern
White breasted Cormorant
Bank Cormorant
Cape Cormorant


Thanks to Dave for skippering Obsession under trying conditions and to Dalton for guiding on Saturday.