Nature Notes

September 12, 2008

Capetown Pelagic: South Africa

Filed under: Pelagic,South Africa — Tags: , — Harold Stiver @ 7:00 am
Greater Shearwater, Puffinus gravis

Greater Shearwater, Puffinus gravis

When there are a lot of birds around, it is hard to imagine a more exciting experience than a seabird trip. Based on this, the trip from Capetown is in the running for world’s best. At it’s peak, we had thousands of seabirds in view, including perhaps a hundred of Shy Albatross. While the Shy was the most numerous of the Albatross, they were joined by the Black-Browed, and both of the distinct races of the Yellow Nosed. Later there was great excitement when a “Northern” Royal Albatross was spotted.

Wilson’s and European Storm-Petrels were seen as well as Antarctic and Hall’s Giant Petrels.Greater Shearwaters were abundant and Sooty were well represented. Also found was the unusually plumaged Cape Petrel, White Chinned Petrel, and Manx Shearwater. A very exciting find was the recently split Baleartic Shearwater (formerly Mediteranean Shearwater), which was only the 3rd record for South Africa waters.

The Skua family was represented by the Brown Skua, and Pomarine and Parasitic Jaeger. Cape Gannet, Jackass Penguin, Sabine’s Gull, and Arctic Tern were also seen.

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