Cape Town Deep Sea Pelagic

To: "Birdchat" <>
Subject: Cape Town Deep Sea Pelagic
From: "Callan Cohen" <>
Date: Sun, 2 Sep 2001 15:23:52 +0200
Hi all, and especially those with a pelagic interest...

On 9-11 August last month, a group of 100 birders embarked from Cape Town on
a deep-sea pelagic birding trip aboard the South African Antarctic research
vessel, the
S.A. Agulhas, organised by Birding Africa.  This was the first ever deep-sea
dedicated pelagic birding trip in Cape waters and, given the great success
that was had birding near the edge of territorial waters around 180nm
offshore, we hope the first of many.  All proceeds from this cruise
benefitted a research and conservation program based at the University of
Cape Town's FitzPatrick Institute, involving tracking non-breeding ranges of
Wandering and Grey-headed Albatrosses breeding at Marion Island.

Birding highlights on the Agulhas cruise included excellent views of seven
species of albatross - including the extreme local rarities, Southern Royal
and Dark-mantled Sooty - as well as diverse smaller procellariformes
including Little Shearwater and Slender-billed Prion.  At one stage we had
three Northern Royal Albatrosss and two Wandering Albatrosses following the
ship at once! Several cetacean species were also seen, including
Long-finned Pilot Whale and Atlantic Bottlenosed Dolphin. A full report and
annotated list, as well as a map of the cruise track and photo galleries of
the ship and some of the birds and birders appear on the CapeTownPelagics
website at

We're hoping to make deep-sea pelagics aboard the Agulhas a regular event,
so please drop us a line if you might be interested in joining us next May
or August.

With best wishes,

Peter Ryan, Claire Spottiswoode and Callan Cohen
Birding Africa and

Percy FitzPatrick Institute of African Ornithology
University of Cape Town, South Africa
Specialist Bird Guiding, Tours & Pelagic Trips
Callan Cohen - Claire Spottiswoode - Peter Ryan
Tel: +27 21 683 1898
Fax: +27 21 671 2990
Mobile: +27 83 256 0491

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