Albatross!

………I’m a wanderer, yeah a wanderer
I roam around around around around

Dion 1961

My wanderer is a little different. I don’t think Dion had a 10′ wingspan for starters. I mentioned in an earlier post that we had seen fewer wanderers than I had hoped. The roughest seas we encountered were between South Georgia and The Antarctic Peninsula. And when I look back at my image files it was here I had the fewest shots due to illness but the best of the albatross. I have already posted a Grey-headed albatross image and I will post another below. This however is the best of my wanderer shots:

Wanderer

I am no albatross expert but I think this is probably a Southern Royal, Diomedea epomophora.

None of the big boys (or girls) came close to the ship, unlike the Black-browed jobbies, some of which tried to knock my hat off.

Black-browedalbatrosscloseup

This one was a particularly mean creature. Note the W C Fields nose.

The Grey-headeds were much scarcer but the rough seas brought one in.

Grey-headed-alb2

We also had the ubiquitous Giant Petrels. These are split into two species, Northern and Southern. They look very alike except for the tip of the nose. The Southern has an olive-green tip and the Northern a reddish tip. They are arguably the easiest of the seabirds to photograph. They loaf around off the back of the boat, flying the same circuit over and over again. Sometimes they come extremely close. Like this:

SGP

Or even this:

Northern-giant-petrel

These are all tubenoses or Procellariiformes. So was yesterday’s Great shearwater.

If you get bored with GPs – and you will- you can try artistic shots.

Sharpened-version

And as we are on tubenoses another attempt or two at artistic impression (will I get a 6.0 from the Russian judge?):

Antarctic-prion-close-up Prion-sp

And there we must end for today. A nice selection of noses if ever I saw one. Not to be sniffed at. And for those of a certain age, here is another albatross:

Enjoy.

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8 thoughts on “Albatross!

  1. You’ve become a right-regular Bill Oddie you have!! Everything that I’ve ever needed to know about seabirds is here on your recent posts. I’m loving learning about their noses for example – who’d have thought that just the tip of a nose can let people know whether you come from the north or the south? whatever will they think of next.

    You get a 10/10 from this judge – especially for the 2nd and the last one 🙂

  2. Love the fresh albatross! In Hawaii we saw the young in nests on people’s lawns – mum and dad gone back to sea it seemed. The young were huge and fluffy – not a technical birding term I suspect.

    As usual some remarkable photos.

    • Rod, this is not a technical blog 😉

      Yes, the chicks are great and there were a couple of colonies of nests but they were a bit too far for Shirley to make the trek so we contented ourselves with the penguins in the main. I would love to see albatross chicks on the lawn!!

      Thanks for reading and commenting.

  3. These are all so good. Excellent captures and reallyu sharp. I like your pun. You wrote “a nice selection of noses if I ever saw one. Not to be sniffed at.” Funny, funny. Seriously though these are so good. The beauty of those wings and how many times they must flap to get to a certain destination- that is the remarkable thing about a bird. Have you heard of the old expression that (x) it can be whatever is a bad thing that you can not be rid of? “It is like an albatross arround my neck.”

    • Thanks Yvonne. Yes, I have heard the expression. These birds are magnificent. They glide effortlessly for ages and I only wish we had seen the Wanderers more often. No chance of seeing them locally in HK though I’m afraid so I need another trip.

    • Yup, prions are quick but they are reasonably predictable and glide occasionally so if you can get on them they give you a fighting chance……. sometimes.

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