Saturday, November 13, 2010

Cape Banks and Long Bay - Pelagic Excursion

Last year I was blessed with some seriously good winter storms, nothing better than a cold winter morning with a solid south easterly when you are out trying to get a photo of an albatross or two. This year has been very disappointing when it comes to albatross sightings, it seems I never really got the combination of weekend and strong onshore winds.

Back in the beginning of September, however, a single weekend seemed to be decent i.e. weather so rubbish that the birds would not expect any human being foolish enough to be standings exposed on the cliffs, so there was a chance those pelagic winter visitors would relax and drift close to shore hopefully getting inside Bigma range.

Cape Banks did not deliver any albatrosses this September weekend, but I managed to finally get decent views of a few Hutton's Shearwaters passing by, they were a first for me :-)

Conditions were pretty rough and I decided to retreat. Furthest out on the cliffs around Long Bay an abandoned military observation post gives good shelter when all other options are too extreme and with nothing else on I opted for a few hours out in the "shed".

The shearwaters were flying too far away from the coast to allow for identification, but quite a few terns came in literally flying straight above me and a nice surprise was a juvenile Pacific Gull hanging around. Earlier this year I saw my first ever Pacific Gull in Long Bay, few weeks before seeing hundreds of them down in Wilson's Promontory.

All good - after a day like that you feel proud to have been outside, just make sure to wash some of all that saltwater spray of the camera and it will all be fine :-)

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