Phew – it’s been … almost a year since my last trip aboard the anchovy boat, due partly to an overbusy work schedule.
The crew made me as welcome as ever – and the day promised to be hot and sunny as we made our way out. It proved to be one of the quietest days birdwise I can remember – hours and hours of not seeing a single bird. No jaegers or boobies, making me realize what a good year 2011 was!
First year Sooty Terns seem to be regular at this time of year – always just one or two birds. June 3 2010 was my best day for this species, and the only time I’ve seen adults.
Black-naped Terns are always a noisy and graceful addition to the melee of terns around the boat. They probably only come from the nearby rocks where they are getting ready to breed, and always arrive with much calling. A single Little Tern completed the tern set for the day.
The only other birds of note were a couple of Short-tailed Shearwaters. These are now expected at this time of year. The fishermen told me that they’d been around for about a week, and that one had even landed on the boat! They kept their distance today though.
Some of the now quite-famous members of the crew – they’ve been featured in the national press and more recently, in a popular men’s magazine! Great guys, one and all.