43.4 to 44.4 degrees south
Tuesday July 14, 2009
[From the trip 2009 (Week 1) Soela Seamount Pelagic]
To begin with we saw only quite common species, including Fairy Prions and Shy Albatross. The latter mostly resembling the local "cauta" race which breeds on nearby Pedra Branca. Over the continental shelf slope we were joined by Cape Petrels and began to regularly encounter Southern Royal Albatross, occasional Wandering Albatross and at least one Northern Royal Albatross. An adult Salvin's Albatross was one of only two on the trip and a single Buller's Albatross was seen in the morning, with another two later in the day. Great-winged Petrel numbers were quite low. Most birds seemed to be "macroptera" but at least two Grey-faced Petrel "gouldi" were also seen. In deeper water and throughout the middle of the day we saw over 20 Grey-backed Storm Petrels and two White-headed Petrels. The highlight of the day came in the form of a juvenile Light-mantled Sooty Albatross that remained with the boat for at least half an hour, giving everyone great views and photo opportunities. There were also two or three Antarctic Prions seen in the afternoon and a possible Blue Petrel at distance.