A Travellerspoint blog

Day 3: Change of Plans

International water; the Atlantic Ocean

overcast 66 °F

I was awoken by the sound of the captain on the ship’s PA system announcing that he was cancelling our stop in Montevideo, Uruguay. While that was disappointing, I totally understood this decision because winds were gusting the entire day with large swells and a constantly-rocky ship. So, I did a little seawatching in the late morning and came up empty-handed:

But soon, after lunch, I met up with the group of Irish birders who are also passengers here, and together we had a much more successful afternoon seawatch. Here I am, the last person in the line of birders:

Photographing birds in the high seas from a rocking ship in gusty winds is simply a matter of luck and determination, as you never know when the wind will either manipulate your grip on the camera, or the seabird will decide to fly behind a swell in the ocean and almost seem to disappear! It can be an utmost level of infuriation, but even getting mediocre photos of these birds at seas leaves me immensely satisfied.

Eventually, WHITE-CHINNED PETREL came to be the most common seabird seen today:

Lifer #1 was a similar (unphotographed) ATLANTIC PETREL which flew away way too fast to be a satisfying look.

Then, I shouted “albatross!” and sure enough, this fiercely aerodynamic, inspiring creature — the YELLOW-BILLED ALBATROSS — flew into sight! Too cool — the last time I saw an Albatross was in New Zealand in 2014. Lifer #2 for the day!

My third life bird was this SOUTHERN GIANT PETREL, which I could only describe as a cross between an albatross and a large petrel. Very amazing bird!

Lifer #4 was an unphotographed BLACK-BROWED ALBATROSS! So cool to see two of these species in one day.

GREAT SHEARWATERS (lifer #5 for the day) left with WHITE-CHINNED PETRELS on the right:

Lifer #6 was an unphotographed CAPE VERDE SHEARWATER.

Too cool! Bird-of-the-day to the Yellow-nosed Albatross and runner-up to the Southern Giant Petrel. STAY TUNED: tomorrow is yet another day at sea as our ship, the Coral Princess, plugs south toward the Falkland Islands, our next stop.

Good birding,
World Life List: 1035 Species (6 life birds today)

Posted by skwclar 18:26

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