27 Apr 2018

27 Apr 18 - Atlantic Odyssey - Day Twenty Nine: Risso's Dolphins

It was a cooler start to the morning with some early morning drizzle & a Northerly headwind, so it was only in the mid twenties on the thermometer. But after some grotty early morning light, it dried up & warmed up a bit. By this point on the cruise, the passengers had adopted different strategies to their daily routine. Some had decided they wouldn't get any Bird Ticks & were only occasionally glimpsed at meal times. Others stuck to chatting in the Observation lounge about the current lack of Birds. Many had adopted a broader strategy of enjoying the Cetaceans, Flying Fish, Sea Turtles & other sealife to give them a reason to be on deck. Others decided it was time to relax a bit, whilst keeping on deck in case something good came along.
Billy: One of the Birdquest punters keeping himself ready for a shout of something good
A game of Deck Charades: Richard & Bridget trying to figure out what household device Mike was (a teapot)
The Birding was quiet. In total, I saw around 35 individuals of 8 species with two-thirds of these being Leach's Storm-petrels. Few of these individuals presented opportunities for photos, but at least being on the bridge wing looking for Cetaceans & other wildlife, then I was in the right position if something did come close.
Bulwer's Petrel: One of three I saw all day
Leach's Storm-petrel
Long-tailed Skua: Adult. The avian highlight of the day occurred as this Long-tailed Skua flew by. If you weren't on deck at the time, then you wouldn't have seen it
Long-tailed Skua: Adult
Long-tailed Skua: Adult
Long-tailed Skua: Adult. This was pretty much the views we had as it was soon heading away from the Plancius
During the morning there were some distant parties of Pantropical Spotted Dolphins & Spinner Dolphins. But none came within several hundred metres of the Plancius & the photos failed to even make the record shot category. However, things finally picked up when we encountered a small pod of our first Risso's Dolphins of the trip.
Risso's Dolphin: They have a tall falcate dorsal fin
Risso's Dolphin: Variations in the dorsal fin shape
Risso's Dolphin
Risso's Dolphin: They are clearly sponsored by Mcdonalds & have been on a supersize deal for some time
Risso's Dolphin
Risso's Dolphin: I had to zoom out the crop to catch the splash
Bandwing Flying Fish: The best of the Flying Fish photos for the day