Leg 1, Day 25.
A very quiet day, that got quieter as it progressed. Even the White-chinned Petrels, which have been our constant companions since leaving Cape Town, gave up and were replaced as the main ship follower by White-headed Petrels. Only one albatross was recorded – a young Grey-headed visited the ship on station shortly before we left at 15h00. Short-tailed Shearwaters were regular before the CTD station, heading south, but dried up in the late afternoon, and from 17-18h00 only a single White-headed Petrel was observed. The late afternoon watch was enlivened only by a solitary South Polar Skua, which headed south like the shearwaters. At only 9 bird species, today was by far the lowest diversity recorded to date:
|Short-tailed Shearwater||160||White-headed Petrel||15|
|Fairy Prion||10||Antarctic Prion||10|
|Black-bellied Storm Petrel||6||Mottled Petrel||5|
|Diving petrel spp.||3||South Polar Skua||1|
The pre-breakfast brigade were treated to two groups of Hourglass Dolphins, which joined the ship’s bow briefly before moving away.
Bull Kelps Durvillaea antarctica continued to be observed, with the last specimen shortly before dusk more than 3000 km from Heard Island.