Cape Palagic Trip
After my pelagic trip was cancelled due to bad weather, Trevor Hardaker contacted me and offered me a cancellation for 21 November 2009. I jumped at the chance as the weather prediction for the 21st was great. Because I did not know if I had sea legs, I spoke to a lot of people beforehand. After lots of suggestions I took an Epanutin 100mg tablet and a Sandoz Cinnarizine 25 tablet the night before and again the morning of the trip. This worked wonderfully for me and I had no sea sickness at sea.
We left Simons town at 07:00 on the ZEST for BIRDS boat. The conditions were ideal with hardly any wind and a +- 1.5 wave swell and there was also bright sunlight throughout the day.
The first bird we saw was a white-chinned Petrel. This was also the bird we saw most on the trip. After that we saw the first Cory Shearwater of the season. A lonely Shy albatross gave us great views flying next to the boat. (He was definitely not shy). After an intensive search, we eventually managed to find a trawler which had a huge number of birds in its wake. Surprisingly, the two most numerous species were Atlantic Yellow-nosed Albatross and Northern Giant Petrel. On any other day, one could struggle to find either of these! Also of interest was the low number of storm petrels again with only 3 European Storm Petrels and no Wilson's being seen. What a wonderful experience seeing these majestic birds so close. In all 16 lifers for me boosting me into the 700 birds seen category.
Birds Seen on Trip
African Black Oystercatcher , White-chinned Petrel, Subantarctic (Brown), Skua, Cory's Shearwater, Pomarine Skua, Great Shearwater Arctic Skua, Sooty Shearwater, Kelp Gull, Black-browed Albatross, Grey-headed Gull, Shy Albatross, Hartlaub's Gull,
Indian Yellow-nosed Albatross, Sabine's Gull, Atlantic Yellow-nosed Albatross, Swift Tern, European Storm Petrel
Sandwich Tern, Pintado Petrel, Common Tern, Cape Cormorant, Cape Gannet, African Penguin, Crowned Cormorant,
Southern Giant Petrel, White-breasted Cormorant, Northern Giant Petrel, Bank Cormorant