Sea Birding Pelagic Trips South Africa, Cape Town Pelagics


  Trip Reports - Trip report for 7 September 2006




- 2 Humpacked Whales

Cape Town Pelagics ran a mid-week pelagic on 7 September, guided by Leo Bruinzeel and Ross Wanless. We had hoped to leave in almost perfect conditions, but the start was delayed while we debated what to do about a strong and completely unpredicted westerly wind. Fortunately, an hour after our advertised departure we decided the wind was localised and it began to die down, allowing us to set off. With the fabulous speed of the Obsession and such calm conditions, skipper Dave Christie made up the lost time, and just after 10 am we found two longliners some 27 miles off the point. There were good numbers of birds in attendance, and we were able to get right alongside the boats as they pulled in their lines, processed the catch and thereby provided food. There were times when we had 5 species simultaneously within spitting distance of us. The almost complete absence of wind meant that there was little chance of the white-backed albatrosses getting lift and flying in, but we nevertheless had a superb day with over 2 hours of birding around the two longliners. The trip home produced a pair of Humpbacked Whales, much to everyone's enjoyment.



  Pelagic birds seen and approximate numbers



Shy Albatross 100
Black-browed Albatross 50
Indian Yellow-nosed Alb 3
Yellow-nosed Alb juvenile 2
Southern Giant Petrel 1
White-chinned Petrel 300
Pintado Petrel 50
Sooty Shearwater 50
Wilson's Storm Petrel 10
SubAntarctic Skua 5
Arctic Tern 5

  Coastal species seen



African Penguin
Cape Gannet
Kelp Gull
Hartlaub's Gull
Swift Tern
White breasted Cormorant
Bank Cormorant
Cape Cormorant
African Black Oystercatcher


Thanks to Dave for putting Obsession through her paces and to Leo for guiding.