27 June 2018

"Atlantic Odyssey 2018" - Part 1

Wandering (Snowy) Albatross - Diomedea exulans

We finally boarded the MV Plancius -operated by Oceanwide Expeditions- on the afternoon of 28 March 2018.  There were old friends, new friends and "friends we hadn't met yet" among the assembled throng.

Boarding at USHUAIA

The first four days of the voyage saw us sailing east towards South Georgia.  The rear decks of the Plancius (above) provided a great platform for photography, especially with the early morning sun behind us.

Wandering (Snowy) Albatross - Diomedea exulans (Staten Island in the background)


Northern Giant-Petrel - Macronectes halli

Grey-headed Albatross - Thalassarche chrysotoma

Southern Giant-Petrel - Macronectes giganteus (White Morph)

Cape Petrel - Daption capense


Black-browed Albatross - Thalassarche melanophrys


Soft-plumaged Petrel - Pterodroma mollis

Soft-plumaged Petrel - Pterodroma mollis

Sometimes the action was at the front of the ship

Jemi got the shots of Grey-backed Storm-Petrels, which often hung around near clumps of drifting kelp.

Grey-backed Storm-Petrel - Garrodia nereis

Grey-backed Storm-Petrel - Garrodia nereis

Grey-backed Storm-Petrel - Garrodia nereis


Grey-backed were not the only Storm-Petrels seen in the first few days...
Black-bellied Storm-Petrel - Fregatta tropica

Wandering Albatross near Shag Rocks

Evening call-over
The Wildwings Group (thirty birders) did a daily log, conducted with reasonable despatch by leader Phil Hansbro, because the Dutch birders would always start fifteen minutes later....


Slender-billed Prion - Pachyptila belcheri
Slender-billed Prion - Pachyptila belcheri
Fairy Prion - Pachyptila turtur

Antarctic Prion - Pachyptila desolata

Light-mantled Sooty Albatross - Phoebetria palpebrata

(Falklands) Brown Skua - Stercorarius (a) antarcticus

Kerguelen Petrel - Lugensa brevirostris
Off to a fine start, then !

23 June 2018

Ushuaia, southern Argentina

23rd to 28th March 2018

Having booked the “Atlantic Odyssey 2018” voyage we returned to Ushuaia again.


Hotel Tolkeyen, where we stayed

Chilean Skuas - Stercorarius chilensis



One of the faster catamarans


"El Che" seafront office



We had opted for a slower, smaller boat;- “El Che” - with a view to photographing Magellanic Diving-Petrels, but saw none.  Instead there were plenty of other things to admire. 


Imperial Shag - Phalacrocorax atriceps

Imperial Shag - Phalacrocorax atriceps

South American Terns - Sterna hirundinacea

South American Tern - Sterna hirundinacea
South American Sea Lion

Humpback Whale fluke - too close !

Tour boat near Les Eclaireurs lighthouse

South American Sea Lion

Magellanic Penguin (juv) - Spheniscus magellanicus

Southern Giant-Petrel - Macronectes giganteus
Chilean Skua - Stercorarius chilensis

Black-browed Albatross - Thalassarche melanophris

Southern Fulmar - Fulmarus glacialoides

Blackish Cinclodes - Cinclodes antarcticus

We had a couple of hours at Ushuaia’s rubbish dump east of town, where White-throated Caracaras topped our list of sought-after birds. This is an easy trip by taxi or hired car. 



White-throated Caracara - Phalcoboenus albogularis

Black-chested Buzzard-Eagle - Geranoaetus melanoleucus

Southern Caracara - Caracara plancus

Our excursion to Garibaldi Pass for White-bellied Seedsnipe was unsuccessful, despite Steve Smith’s thorough directions. 


Seedsnipe habitat....
An afternoon in Tierra Del Fuego National Park was memorable for clear weather and stunning scenery, as well as some good birds.

Tierra Del Fuego National Park

View across Beagle channel from the NP

Flightless Steamer Ducks - Tachyeres pteneres

Grey-flanked Cinclodes - Cinclodes oustaleti


Magellanic Woodpecker - Campephilus magellanicus

Magellanic Woodpecker - Campephilus magellanicus




A well-spent few days to get over our jet lag, and to ready ourselves for boarding the ship.