Sea Birding Pelagic Trips South Africa, Cape Town Pelagics


  Trip Reports - Trip report for 13 November 2006




After more unworkable weather than I care to remember, we finally got a break on Monday, 13 November and Cape Town Pelagics ran a trip for the lucky folks who could rearrange their schedules. There were no cetaceans seen, suggesting that the bulk of the Southern Right Whales have already moved south. We headed into the deep and Skipper Rob Lawrence was able to get a fix on a trawler. We approached as it had finished processing its catch, and caught the tail-end of the usual flock. All the usual species, except Atlantic Yellow-nosed albatrosses, were in attendance. The most obvious change since our last trip was the complete absence of Great Shearwaters. We stayed with the trawler for an hour or so, and were rewarded when the tori-lines were pulled in and the winches started up. The already-sated birds did not come in the expected numbers, but we nevertheless had hundreds of birds around us as the net was brought to the surface. Shortly thereafter the trawler moved off at pace, and an unscheduled and unwelcome north-westerly wind sprang up. With no real options, we turned for home, with everyone on board well pleased that they were on the first trip this month.



  Pelagic birds seen and approximate numbers



Shy albatross 400
Black-browed albatross 50
Indian Yellow-nosed Albatross 1
Northern Giant-Petrel 1
Southern Giant-Petrel 5
White-chinned Petrel 400
Pintado Petrel 300
Sooty Shearwater 50
Wilson 's Storm-Petrel 100
European Storm-Petrel 50
SubAntarctic Skua 5
Arctic Skua 3
Sabine’s Gull 2
Arctic Tern 10

  Coastal species seen



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


Thanks to Rob Lawrence for squeezing in a trip between big weather systems and for skippering the Blue Pointer.