Thursday, January 20, 2011

Pelagic Birding

Shy Albatross

Yellow Nosed Albatross

Black Browed Albatross

Wandering Albatross

Northern Giant Petrel

Sooty Albatross

Pom Skua

One of my favourite birding experiences are the regular Pelagic boat trips run out from Port MacDonnell.

Arranged by Colin Rogers, a small group of regulars as well as a handful of others attend these regular weekend trips. We go out on The Remarkable skippered by Mark and assisted by his son Jamie.

                                          The Remarkable

Most of us drive to Port MacDonnell on the Saturday and stay at the caravan park and have dinner at the Victoria Hotel before having an early night. Usually we are up at 5am to get to the wharf.

Sleeping in is a term birders are not familiar with!

                                            Colin Rogers

We often leave shore before sunrise and travel out past the continental shelf to find as many Pelagic species as possible. We return to shore about 3pm to start the 5 to 6 hr journey home.

Campbell's Albatross

Southern Fulmar

Short Tailed Shearwater

White Chinned Petrel

Using Christidis and Boles 2008 as my working Checklist, Species that I have been lucky enough to see over the last couple of years include:

Common Diving-Petrel
Southern Giant-Petrel
Northern Giant-Petrel
Southern Fulmar
Cape Petrel
Great-winged Petrel
Soft-plumaged Petrel
Gould's Petrel
Antarctic Prion
Fairy Prion
White-chinned Petrel
Flesh-footed Shearwater
Sooty Shearwater
Short-tailed Shearwater
Fluttering Shearwater
Hutton's Shearwater
Wandering Albatross
Royal Albatross
Black-browed Albatross
Buller's Albatross
Shy Albatross
Yellow-nosed Albatross
Sooty Albatross
Wilson's Storm-Petrel
Grey-backed Storm-Petrel
White-faced Storm-Petrel
Black-bellied Storm-Petrel
Australasian Gannet

Sadly I am yet to see the Light Mantled Sooty Albatross – my Pelagic Holy Grail, but - I WILL NEVER SURRENDER!