New Adventures and Mega Flocks of Tristram's Storm-petrels

11 April, 2019

Waking to rain and rough sea was not what we wanted anchored just off Haha-Jima and itching to get ashore. However, as with the nature of expedition cruising and the need for flexibility, we weighed anchor and headed north in search of new adventures. Not far from the island, in the midst of a rain squall, a Japanese Thrush flew around the ship making an unsuccessful attempt to seek shelter on Spirit of Enderby.

Thankfully the afternoon saw much improved conditions and some remarkable bird observations. There were plenty of Black-footed and one Laysan Albatross about, a large feeding flock of hundreds of Wedge-tailed Shearwaters and, for most birders, the final great sight of the day was as unexpected as it was welcome - three flocks of Tristram's Storm-petrels totalling around 5,000 birds. From a distance, the birding phenomenon looked not unlike black midges on the surface of a lake.

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