Northern Royal Albatross – the star bird of the pelagic
We were fortunate that, when we were putting our draft itinerary together, it coincided with one of the scheduled pelagic boat trips out of Quintero, organised by Rodrigo Reyes of Birdwatching Chile. We’d been on one previously during our 2012 world tour and we were keen to repeat the experience. However, on the day, which was moderately calm and foggy, the birding was good, but not quite to the standard of a few years ago. We did however see three species of albatross, two large petrels, two shearwaters, a Giant Petrel, a diving petrel, Wilson’s Petrel, Peruvian Pelican and Booby, Magellanic Penguin, Chilean Skua, Inca and South American Tern and a few other ‘bits and bobs’!
Jane and Neil prior to departure, both with with a slight anxious smile!
There were plenty of both Peruvian Gannet and Peruvian Booby, just off-shore
and various Cormorant species – this one is Guanay
Further out there was a steady passage of Peruvian Diving Petrel, but they never came close to the boat
Once we got to the shelf and started chumming the more oceanic species began to arrive. This is White-chinned Petrel
A brief appearance from a Northern Giant Petrel, separated from it’s southern counter-part by the reddish, rather than greenish tip to it’s bill, was a welcome visitor
We’d already seen Salvin’s and Black-browed Albatross on the way out to the shelf
But the arrival of a Northern Royal Albatross was ‘icing on the cake’! Seen here with her Salvin’s ‘wing man’
Last bird species of interest, Pink-footed Shearwater – a Chilean breeding endemic
These South American Sea Lion looked comfortable on our return through the harbour. This was after we’d been boarded by Chilean Customs officials!