3 April 2016

A Birder's paradise...

Written by Jax, April 3 2016

3 April 2016

Guide Summary and Photographs

Today was a beautiful day out in the bay. Although the swells were big, the weather was awesome and we set out at 10 this morning eager to spot some marine life.

As we head towards the island, our first sighting was of a pair of African penguins. These little guys stuck around long enough for us to get a couple of photographs before they disappeared into the swell. Our next sighting was of a slightly larger group of penguins who followed pretty much the same pattern. It is always awesome to see then out in the water as this is the area where they are the most proficient. Penguins are generally pretty awkward on land but they more than make up for this in the water.

As we made our way towards the island, we also saw a couple of Cape Gannets diving for fish, flying and resting on the water. When we reached the island, it looked surprisingly empty, the reason for this son became clear when we spotted a giant bait ball behind the island.

A bait ball is a defence mechanism adopted by schools of fish in an attempt to protect themselves from predators. This “safety in numbers” approach is often short lived and consists of the fish swimming in a tightly packed formation. The ball is disrupted from the top by none other than our Cape Gannets who launch Ariel attacks from a height of 30 meters! Other birds, such as our Cape Cormorants, join in the frenzy and reap the rewards of it by catching themselves a fish or two. Today’s bait ball was an amazing sight with hundreds of birds in the water, awaiting their share.

Following this awesome sight, we cruised through shark alley to see the seals and check if our elephant seal is still in the area. We’re glad to say that this beauty is still on our island and we hope to be seeing it around for the next little while. On our way out the alley, we also managed to spot a Giant Petrel on the water which was pretty awesome.

We also stopped by Slashfin to see a shark or two investigating the boat. There were a couple around which we managed to see swimming just below the surface.

Overall, I guess you could say that we had a pretty successful day out of the water.

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