Back to Black


Our 17 days in California had been carefully timed to get the best from our trip. Some species would be leaving, others arriving, some breeding some already feeding young. It was inevitable given nature does not operate to a precise timetable that we would struggle to see or even miss some species. So it was only on our fourth and final journey out into the Pacific did the shout go up for ‘ALBATROSS!’ something I’d hoped to see but didn’t expect.

A pitching boat and a troughed sea with a three metre swell will never be conducive to getting a good look at something. One hand on the rail at all times in an attempt to stay on board with another for binoculars and camera and you find yourself rapidly running out of limbs. Just as I managed to get my bins onto the damn thing it disappeared. Oh well … I’d seen it. My first Black footed Albatross.

It was a few moments later I realised why I’d lost it. The Albatross had pitched down on the surface of the sea. We made a bee-line for it; and what was that with it? Oh my god it was another two.

Fantastic birds. These individuals will perhaps be nesting on Hawaii and travelling the two and a half thousand miles east to the coast off California to feed. An epic day!

Black footed Albatross

Black footed Albatrosses


2 Responses to “Back to Black”

  1. 1 John Norria
    March 29, 2014 at 7:31 pm

    Yep they are fantastic i would love to join you on such a trip. Maybe when I get made redundant?

    Sent from my iPhone


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