Trip Highlights: 4 species of albatross - Shy, Black-browed, Indian and Atlantic Yellow-nosed, Northern & Southern Giant Petrels, Cory's and Great Shearwater.
Another great day out at sea was enjoyed by all who board the Cape Town Pelagics trip departing from Simon's Town harbour early on Sunday morning. Due to bumpy sea conditions we made slow progress to start with, but our skipper did a great job navigating as comfortably as possible.
The nearest fishing vessel was about 25 miles out to sea. Nonetheless, we enjoyed a controlled introduction to the pelagic birds as we made our way out to sea. Along the way we was treated to an amazing spectacle as large numbers of Yellow-Fin Tuna fed off a bait ball near the sea surface. Common and Arctic Terns and Cape Gannets were getting in on the action as well.
Once we had caught up with a longliner large numbers of seabirds were observed including four species of albatross - Shy, Black-browed and both Indian and Atlantic Yellow-nosed species. Sooty Shearwaters, White-chinned and Pintado Petrels were around in large numbers as well as a single Cory's and Great Shearwater. Other regular sightings include numerous Wilson's and European Storm-petrels and Subantarctic Skuas. Two of the favourite birds amongst the group were the Northern and Southern Giant Petrels - of which there were at least five of each.
After enjoying lunch out on the open sea amongst all the birds, eventually and reluctantly it was time for us to head back towards Simon's Town. The trip wasn't finished though as we were pleased to get close up views of Bank, Cape and White-breasted Cormorants at the cormorant colony located on a large rock just inside the bay near Cape Point.
Species seen at sea
Black Browed Albatross
Atlantic Yellow-nosed Albatross
Indian Yellow-nosed Albatross
Southern Giant Petrel
Northern Giant Petrel
White Chinned Petrel
Southern Giant Petrel
White Breasted Cormorant
Cape Fur Seal
Other interesting sightings
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 Nick Fordyce.
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