Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Port MacDonnell

Staying with the seabird theme, a birders first albatross is one of those never to be forgotten moments. Now, I love seabirding, but I am one of the worlds worst sailors. In fact, the list of seas I have been seasick on is almost as long as my bird list!!
In South Australia we are very lucky as the continental shelf (the best spot, I am told, for pelagic birding) is relatively close to land. So, I thought, less time to get seasick. Well, let me tell you, they are right, the seabirding is fantastic, and I was wrong................
These shots were all taken on one trip. Almost as soon as we got to the shelf, the skipper spotted a trawler hauling in nets so we headed over. The boat was surrounded by seabirds.
As the boat passed by, we began to berley (chum) and some of the seabirds were attracted to our boat.
There were good numbers of albatross including Wandering, Black-browed, Bullers, Shy and also my favourite Yellow-nosed. Black-browed were by far the most common so I got a fair few photos, so I'll post them all together in my next post.
Wandering Albatross is an amazing bird. It has an odd "hump-backed" appearance making it pretty easy to identify.

A Buller's Albatross gave us a single flypast, but our berley was obviously not up to the required standard as it carried on towards the receding trawler. There ware also numbers of shearwaters and petrels feeding on our fishy, oily, slick, including Flesh-footed Shearwater.

Great-winged Petrel
and White-faced Storm-petrel (this shot is very highly cropped so apologies for the quality)
Finally a couple of shots of Yellow-nosed albatross - isn't it gorgeous?


  1. Fantastic shots! Sorry about the seasickness. I wonder -- does looking through a viewfinder, like reading in a car, makes it worse? But then if you are not going to look through a viewfinder, why go at all? Thanks for sharing these photos; this is probably the best look I will ever have of these birds.

  2. Hi wilma. It is actually the opposite - while looking through the viewfinder I am OK - I think my mind is fully occupied!!. I find that once I stop taking the photos and we're on the way back, thats when I turn green!!

  3. Great seabird shots Tony. My seabird list is a bit small as I get very seasick too. Sounds like South Australia might be the place to increase the list.

  4. Thanks Richard, We are very lucky. Let me knoe if you are ever over this way.

  5. Hi Tony. I guess you've tried the usual remedies? One of my best birding memories of my trip to Australia was seeing a young Wandering Albatross skim over the water to take a look at us in the Tasman Sea! FANTASTIC!
    Our trip was too rough to take photos, but luckily none of us was seasick!

  6. Hi Jen, yes, lots of different pills and potions. Even with the seasickness, sea birding is still one of my favourites.