Daily Trip 03 May 2017
Some cool birds and 4 of our 5 favorites...
Written by Jax, May 3 2017
Guide Summary and Photographs
We managed to spot 4 out the Marine Big 5 today, with only the White Shark eluding us. This has unfortunately been the case for the last couple of days, and, with a dead White Shark washing up on one of our beaches this morning, this looks set to continue. Great Whites can pick up when one of their own is deceased in the bay and this tends to cause them to leave the area for a while, until they deem it safe to return.
Despite this, we had some lovely sightings this morning, with the first of the day being one of our Indian Ocean Humpback Dolphins. It is not unusual to find them travelling solo and we believe that this is the same one we found yesterday. Today’s sighting was a little bit closer and we got to see this individual quite well before it made its way into the breakers.
At Dyer Island, we spotted an unwelcome guest in the form of a Cape Fur Seal on the boulders. The Cape Fur Seals are one of the largest current threats to our endangered African Penguin. The seals will sometimes catch and kill our penguins in an effort to get the fish from the stomachs of these flightless birds. For this reason, we try to keep the birds and the seals separate, moving the seals back to Geyser Rock if they begin to become a problem for our seabirds.
We spotted quite a few African Penguins sitting on the rocks further inland today. These guys breed mainly between the months of March and May but, they will try again every 3 months if they are unsuccessful. 1 to 2 eggs are laid in a brood and they will incubate these eggs for around 40 days.
After this, we stopped at Geyser Rock for some time, admiring our seals. The island was packed to the brim, but as we were arriving, many of the seals were making their way into the water which always makes for an interesting sight. These guys have rotational pelvises which allow them to move quite well on land although the movement could not be described as anything more than an awkward stumbling. We also had many playing around the boat, jumping and showing off their agility to our thrilled clients.
After some searching in the deep blue, we managed to find a Brydes Whale that was a little less shy. We had spotted a couple of blows around but this majestic creature was the only one to come up for us.
We also spotted some cool birds on our trip, with thousands of Cape Cormorants flocking to sea, several White Chinned petrels behind the island, a Sooty Shearwater or two, a curious Sub Antarctic Skua and a Giant Petrel in the chum slick of our sister company, Marine Dynamics.
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