Managed to sneak out on Friday between the strong southerly front of Wednesday and Thursday and this strong Westerly Antarctic front. It proved pretty worthwhile as we had pretty good diversity with a couple of standouts but nothing exceptional sadly.
Highlights of the day being a Southern fulmar which flew up and down the chum behind the boat for a few minutes before disappearing as quickly as it appeared, and a beautiful little Grey-backed Storm petrel which appeared right as we were about to leave.
Other notables were two Sperm whales that insisted on getting closer to the boat than was allowed, A Southern Now giant Petrel, atleast 2 Antarctic cape petrels and two common diving petrels. We were the only larger boat (minus one whale watch boat) that headed out so I suspect it somewhat inflated Albatross numbers, with over 80 out the back of the boat at one point. An impressive sight.
I must admit I jumped for joy at finally seeing a fulmar, it’s been a bogey bird for many of us keen Canterbury birders for the last few years with us just never seeming to catch up with it, so it was bloody brilliant to finally catch up with one. And what a stunner they are.
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Some photos for reference
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Great trip Dave, thanks for organising!