Trip Highlights: Indian & Atlantic Yellow-nosed Albatross, both species of Giant Petrels, a late Pintado, Great-winged & Spectacled Petrels
Indian Yellow-nosed Albatross
Early Sunday morning saw a group of birders board two Cape Town Pelagics boats departing Simon's Town harbour and heading for the trawling grounds just off the continental shelf some 25 miles or so beyond Cape Point. The trip - in a reasonable sea and with no wind - was led by Alvin Cope; with Dalton Gibbs the leader on the second vessel.
The wind at Cape Point had been 40 knots only 7 hours before, so a bit of a bumpy sea was anticipated. The only birds we saw on the way out were Sabine's Gulls and a few Cory's Shearwaters.
The first trawler we reached had very few birds behind it on account that the boat was not processing any fish. We headed out to a 2nd trawler at about 32 miles. This one had good birds and we spent the rest of the day with this vessel in a calm sea and no wind - the bigger birds having to 'run' on the water for quite some distance before getting airborne. We found two Spectacled Petrels and a late Pintado Petrel. The ride back was uneventful, except for a stop at a longliner at about 27 miles where we added an Indian Yellow-nose Albatross.
Northern Giant Petrel
Birds seen, with estimated numbers:
Shy Albatross 50
Black-browed Albatross 30
Indian Yellow-nosed Albatross 1
Atlantic Yellow-nosed Albatross 14
Southern Giant Petrel 2
Northern Giant Petrel 15
White-Chinned Petrel 400
Spectacled Petrel 2
Sooty Shearwater 10
Great-Winged Petrel 20
Great Shearwater 1
Cory's Shearwater 30
Pintado Petrel 1
Wilson's Storm Petrel 18
Common Tern 30
Arctic Tern 5
Sabine's Gull 20
Swift Tern - coastal
Hartlaub's Gull - coastal
Cape Gull - coastal
Cape Cormorant - coastal
Bank Cormorant - coastal
White-breasted Cormorant - coastal
African Penguin - coastal
Cape Gannet - coastal & pelagic
Cape Fur Seal
A Cape Fur Seal colony inside False Bay.
A message from Cape Town Pelagics:
A huge thank you to our experienced skippers who are
able to safely lead us to the best birding areas and
skillfully manoeuvre the boat into just the best position
while all on board are busy concentrating on the birds!
Coordinating a pelagic trip over a year in advance
with guests from all across South Africa and different
countries around the world requires an organised office
team. We thank them for their special eye for detail
- and for the sometimes last-minute rearrangements
and frustration if the weather delays the trip to
another day! Our biggest thank-you is to our Cape
Town Pelagics guides who take time out of their work,
often involving seabirds and conservation, and time
away from their families, to provide our guests with
a world-class birding experience. Cape Town Pelagics
donates all it profits to seabirds, and so all the
participants who join the trip make a contribution
towards bird research and conservation - a big thank
you from all of us.
Trip Report by Cape Town Pelagics
guide Alvin Cope.
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