18 Apr 2018

18 Apr 18 - Atlantic Odyssey - Day Twenty: More St Helenan Seabirds

The first day at St Helena was one of the busiest days of the Atlantic Odyssey & it left me with the best part of 2000 photos to process (the greatest number of photos I have ever taken in a single day). So, it is no wonder that it has taken me so long to sort all the photos & why it has taken six Blog Posts for the day. The previous Posts covered our arrival at St Helena, my first Whale Shark which greeted our arrival, Jamestown which included so many photos that it had to be split over two parts, Jamestown part 1 & Jamestown part 2. Finally, there was the afternoon boat trip out to look for the St Helenan population of Band-rumped Storm-petrels. This final Post covers the other Birds seen on the boat trip.
Red-billed Tropicbird: This is the mesonauta subspecies which occurs in the subtropical & tropical Pacific, as well as, the Caribbean & East Atlantic
Red-billed Tropicbird: I couldn't resist another photo
Masked Booby: There were a few Masked Boobies flying around during the day. This is the nominate dactylatra subspecies which occurs in the Caribbean & SW Atlantic
Common Noddy: This is also known as Brown Noddy. There were good numbers of Common Noddies flying around & on Egg Island. This is the nominate stolidus subspecies which occurs in the Caribbean & South Atlantic islands, as well as, around the Gulf of Guinea to Cameroon
White-capped Noddy: This is also known as Black Noddy. They were also common around St Helena. This is the atlanticus subspecies which occurs in St Helena & on adjacent South Atlantic islands and the Gulf of Guinea. In good light, they are blacker with a more extensive white & more contrasting crown & are noticeably longer billed
The Noddy nest ledges looked stunning
I wonder how old this rope is
White Tern: Proving that some individuals can nest sensibly like other Terns, rather than trying to balance an egg on a notch in a branch as some were in the trees in Jamestown
White Tern: This is the nominate alba subspecies which occurs on St Helena & Ascension Island, as well as, Fernando de Noronha & Trindade Island
Four-winged Flying Fish: As we were returning to Jamestown, we disturbed a few Flying Fish including this Four-winged Flying Fish
The boat trip back to the Plancius gave us the chances to see some of this historical defences a bit closer than during our arrival into Jamestown Bay on the Plancius.
I presume this is one of the Napoleonic era defences
A closer view of the Napoleonic defence we saw from the Plancius as we arrived
The rocky cliffs were full of interesting patterns caused by the various volcanic eruptions
More volcanic patterns
High Knoll Fort: The fort towers over Jamestown on the highest ground & was built to protect the ladder batteries against a rear attack
Two Elswick Mark VII Six Inch Guns on Ladder Hill: I hadn't noticed these guns when I walked up Ladder Hill & the legs were a bit too stiff to want to walk up the following day to have a closer look
One of the Elwick Six Inch Guns: They were ordered to help guard the island in 1902 when there were Boer prisoners held on St Helena. By the time the guns had arrived, the Boer War was over & the prisoners had been sent back to South Africa. They were used once in World War II when a submarine surfaced close to St Helena