By Peter Ryan, onboard scientist, expert in general ornithology, seabird-fishery interactions, evolutionary ecology, marine debris, solid waste management, biology of oceanic islands.

Leg 1, Summary

We arrived in Hobart this morning on a lovely sunny morning, and were escorted up the Derwent by three successive groups of Common Dolphins. Several new coastal species were added, as well as one pelagic species (Buller’s Albatross). The leg 1 trip list comprised 56 seabirds (excluding coastal species in Cape Town on day 0), plus Lesser Sheathbill and Kerguelen Pintail. The most notable absence was Grey Petrel, although Arctic Tern and Southern Fulmar also were expected; we should see all three on legs 2 or 3. Numbers counted on transects were:

Emperor Penguin [2] King Penguin 34
Macaroni Penguin 54 Rockhopper Penguin 13
Crested penguin spp. 109 Gentoo Penguin 3
Wandering Albatross 79 Southern Royal Albatross 16
Shy Albatross 37 Salvin’s Albatross 2
Black-browed Albatross 57 Grey-headed Albatross 24
Buller’s Albatross 2 Indian Yellow-nosed Alby 20
Atlantic Yellow-nosed Alby 4 Sooty Albatross 18
Light-mantled Albatross 28 Northern Giant Petrel 50
Southern Giant Petrel 13 Cape (Pintado) Petrel 10
White-chinned Petrel 337 Spectacled Petrel 4
Cory’s Shearwater 238 Great Shearwater 3
Sooty Shearwater 6 Short-tailed Shearwater 2870
Subantarctic Shearwater 9 Soft-plumaged Petrel 188
Great-winged Petrel 108 White-headed Petrel 270
Mottled Petrel 30 Gould’s Petrel 8
Kerguelen Petrel 43 Blue Petrel 91
Salvin’s Prion 3321 Antarctic Prion 779
Slender-billed Prion 126 Fairy Prion 832
Fulmar Prion 17 Diving petrel spp. 236
Wilson’s Storm Petrel 151 Leach’s Storm Petrel 24
Black-bellied Storm Petrel 193 Grey-backed Storm Petrel 39
Crozet Shag 1++ Kerguelen Shag 25
Black-faced Cormorant 11 Australian Gannet 8
Brown Skua 29 South Polar Skua 3
Long-tailed Jaeger 25 Kelp Gull 21
Silver Gull 39 Antarctic Tern 1
Kerguelen Tern 1++ Greater Crested Tern 3
Grey Phalarope 1    

The ACE team are enjoying Hobart’s hospitality for the next few days (plus some fun landbirds), then it will be back to sea for leg 2.