27 Jun 2018

"Atlantic Odyssey 2018" - Part 1 To South Georgia

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 Hansboro, 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
Kerguelen Petrel - Lugensa brevirostris

Off to a fine start, then !


  1. These flight shots are simply amazing, John. Did you hear the thud as my jaw hit the ground?

    1. Thanks David - there were many great photo opportunities during the trip.

  2. Simply wow...another epic journey John, Wandering Albatross had been a childhood dream of mine and still is! Hope I'll get to see it someday.

    1. Hi Matt, Sounds like you need an "Albatross Encounter" at Kaikoura, NZ !

  3. You've really got pelagic BIF photos down to a fine art John............

    1. Thanks, Stu - as usual, I culled plenty of shots !