10: The tubenoses - stormies, shearwaters, petrels and albatrosses

This is the last blog about the trip and contains photos what many will be wanting to see - the tubenoses, ranging from the small stormies to the big - and I do mean big - albatrosses. It was on the trip off Stewart Island in rather damp conditions that my camera slipped and fractured the body and after saying 'Oh dear me' (or similar) I am grateful to Etienne Littlefair again as I think that he was the only one to get shots of Mottled Petrel and Brent Stephenson of Wrybill has let me have copies of the last two photos. So, this blog will go up in more or less ascending order of size of the 27 spp. of tubenoses seen, so here goes.
Diving-petrels: Only the Common Diving-petrel seen, no photograph.

Storm-petrels: First, one of the mega species I really would have liked to have seen and I was lucky, very lucky: New Zealand Storm-petrel. Thought to have been extinct until around 11 years ago it was rediscovered by Brent and Sav. Saville, co-founders of Wrybill Tours, and its breeding grounds were only discovered in 2013 in Hauraki Gulf. We also saw Black-bellied Storm-petrel off Stewart Island to add to the list (no photo).
New Zealand Storm-petrel
New Zealand Storm-petrel above White-faced Storm-pètrel
White-faced Storm-petrel
Grey-backed Storm-petrel
Prions, Petrels and Shearwaters: A total of 16 spp. seen from this group, of which neither Broad-billed nor Fairy Prions were photographed, neither were Black Petrel and the following shearwaters: Flesh-footed, Sooty, Fluttering and Short-tailed.
Cape Petrel (above and below)

Mottled Petrel (photo by Etienne Littlefair)
Westland Petrel
White-chinned Petrel - the white chin is a minuscule patch of white feathers at the base of the lower mandible, look very closely and you can just see it!
Grey-faced Petrel
Cook's Petrel (above and below)

Buller's Shearwater (above and below)
Hutton's Shearwater
And now for two photos of one of the ugliest birds in the world, a Northern Giant Petrel (it's cousin the Southern Giant is no better!). These come in to the chum bag and often land and immediately go into threat display with no other birds within metres - absolutely bonkers!

two Northern Giant Petrels, below in threat display!
Albatrosses : And now of the kings of the ocean whose elegance in flight is beyond dispute. Take a good look at the last 2 (courtesy of Brent Stephenson) and ask yourselves which idiot would even volunteer and dare to hand feed an albatross (no clues given).
Southern Royal (above and 2 photos below)

Northern Royal Albatross
Salvin's Albatross

White-capped Albatross (imm)
Buller's Albatross

And to finish off, one of the great experiences of my birding life ... hand-feeding an albatross and I still have all my fingers!

And as that great philosopher Bugs Bunny would say, 'That's all, folks,' and I hope that you have enjoyed the trip as much as I did!

1 comentario:

Bob Wright - The Axarquia Birder dijo...

Just re-reading your reports Andy and some great shots which I can now use to help confirmation of some of my sightings!