Sunday, 19 November 2017

Kiama Pelagic

Oh yes! The pelagic is on! After our Sydney pelagic was cancelled a couple of weeks ago due to some bullshit reason we were very (and I mean very) excited to get on the ocean today. The day got off to a great start with our one and only Australian Hobby of the trip flying over whist we were still docked. The previous evening we'd done a seawatch from Kiama headland and seen quite a few Humpback Whales and as we headed out to sea this morning passed a few more. There were lots of Wedge-tailed Shearwaters today and they were far and away the most numerous seabird seen today.

Wedge-tailed Shearwater

A few Australasian Gannets were also seen early doors...

Australasian Gannet

We also saw tens of Fluttering and Huttons Shearwaters flying by but it took most of the day to get decent views, but no pics. Heading out further it was apparent that there weren't big numbers of birds today and we went a spell without seeing much, until our first Black-browed Albatross appeared and we definitely saw 3 different individuals.

Black-browed Albatross

Then we began picking up what the local birders are calling Solander's Petrels, although this is not yet split from Providence Petrel by IOC.

Solander's (Providence) Petrel

At least 3 White-capped Albatross also began following our chum slick....

White-capped Albatross

We also saw a White-faced Storm Petrel, 4 Short-tailed Shearwaters and a single Flesh-footed Shearwater.

White-faced Storm-Petrel

Flesh-footed Shearwater

One of my personal targets was Indian Yellow-nosed Albatross and I was pretty excited to see a couple individuals....

Indian Yellow-nosed Albatross

But the undoubted highlight of the day was seeing this Wandering Albatross (exulans) come flying in from the horizon and then alighting on the water right beside us. Wow! The bird was captured and ringed and although it was rather humbling to be able to see this majestic bird so close, I didn't like the length of time it was kept in people's hands and also doubt the scientific value of stressing this beautiful creature so much.

Wandering Albatross

1 comment:

  1. Great pics and exciting moments there Nick. (Agreed on the Wandering Albatross. Whats the gain?) Cheers.