Southern Giant Petrel (Light Morph) (Macronectes giganteus)
Pelagic birding is a lottery; you never know what to expect while following trawlers about 40 sea miles off Cape Point. However, we were in the competent hands of Vincent Ward on this memorable day in July 2022.
Highlights of the day were a Southern Giant Petrel (White Morph), a rare sight off our coast. The majestic Wandering Albatross, and a quick fly-by of a Northern Royal Albatross. Cape Town Pelagics Agreement on the Conservation of Albatrosses and Petrels. Itching to get back out into the deep.
A pelagic birding experience is not about our remarkable Sea Birds; it includes anything the ocean offers. We have had beautiful moments with Loggerhead Turtle and lumbering Sunfish. We were enthralled by two Humpback Whales and a 1000-strong pod of Long Beaked Common Dolphins this time. You never know what you may bump into in the deep. Thanks to Vincent Ward and Cape Town Pelagics for some incredible moments and smiles all around 😁
Cape Town Pelagics: it’s more than a birding experience; the outing will expose our prolific and diverse sea bird splendour. It’s a unique opportunity to showcase our coastline’s beauty and diversity, including our abundant marine ecology.
You will be exposed to the rugged and dramatic Cape peninsula, including our world-famous Cape Point, seen from False Bay and the Atlantic. This experience will showcase a rich diversity of cetaceans seen in our cold, nutrient-rich waters, Whales, Dolphins, Sunfish, Turtles and much more.
Unfortunately, you will need a good pair of sea legs to savour this experience. You will be left spellbound and filled with a sensory overload of memories that will last a lifetime.
White Ghosts of the Cape, we were after the Northern Royal Albatross, and although we got one, it was a fleeting and distant photo opportunity, a big miss. However, we had the good fortune to enjoy some pleasant moments with a Southern Giant Petrel (White Morf)
A huge thanks to Cape Town Pelagics and Vincent Ward, who was fantastic netting us with a haul of three White Backs
It’s frantic when you are on the trawling grounds; you must be on your game. The vessel is rocking like a top, eager birders under your feet and Wonderful Pelagic Sea Birds whizzing by and speed. It’s almost impossible to keep anything in the viewfinder, let alone locked on. But Vincent Ward is doing what he does best; you can hear the excitement in his voice and still get goosebumps listening to this, and the rush is on. This pelagic, I took all the pressure off myself, focused on videos, and tried to enjoy the experience and capture every image possible. What a relief from my first when the pressure was on having Trevor Hardaker as a guide. Incredible moments with Cape Town Pelagics.
Wandering Albatross (Diomedea exulans)
After the excitement of seeing a Northern Royal Albatross, we were Mesmerised by a rare Southern Giant Petrel(White Morph). Then, finally, the appearance of an old, regal-looking Wandering Albatross blew us away; this was the sixth Albatross species for our pelagic from Simons Town, 35 miles South West of Cape Point. So well done to the team at Cape Pelagics for exposing us to these ocean wonders.
A huge thanks to Vincent Ward for some brilliant guiding and experience in putting us right on the money