20 May 2017 | Pelagic Birding Trip

Pelagic birding adventures in Gansbaai, Western Cape with Dyer Island Cruises.

Written by Anwynn Louw, May 22 2017

20 May 2017 | Pelagic Birding Trip

Guide Summary and Photographs

Perfect calm conditions inshore and offshore were too tempting to ignore, so we kitted up Whale Whisperer for a pelagic birding trip.  The sunrise over the Bredasdorp mountains cast somber golden hues through low level grey clouds, highlighting Quoin Point as we headed to the continental shelf.

3.5 hours and 90 km later, we came across a large group of pelagic birds.  All of the usual petrels and albatross were there, but in spectacular conditions with excellent opportunities to catch the reflections of the gliding birds along the near-glass surface.  Shy albatross fledge in late March/April, so we saw many distinctly immature Shys than adults.  It’s always special to see both northern and southern Giant petrels in the same groups, and we were also blown away by the incredible groups of storm petrels, both Wilson’s and European.  I have counted at least 22 in just one frame!

Yet, I think I can speak for everyone when I say the star of the show was the Spectacled petrel.  Not only is it a great species to spot, we had a beautiful pass in perfect light meters from the boat – I think everyone got a stunning shot (or twenty!).

Thank you Dave, Brian, and Marcel for a great trip!  See you again soon.

Guiding Biologist:  Michelle Jewell

Species List
Shy Albatross
Black-Browed Albatross
Indian Yellow-nosed Albatross
White-chinned Petrel
Spectacled Petrel
Pintado Petrel
Great Shearwater
Sooty Shearwater
European Storm Petrel
Wilson’s Storm Petrel
Cape Gannet
Pomarine Jaeger
Subantartic Skua
Hartlaubs Gull
Antartic Tern
Swift Tern
Common Tern
African Penguin
Cape Cormorant

For more information or bookings contact Hennie Otto.
Email: hennie@sharkwatchsa.com
Phone: +27 (0)83 295 5307

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Written by Anwynn Louw

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