Monday, 16 July 2012

Brief encounters

Everything is in a hurry these days! A few false killer whales went racing across the bow of the ship- a difficult species to observe as they torpedoed through the water throwing up intense, brief splashes as they chased the small surface feeding fish. Fantastic animals though and very good at remaining out of view considering they can approach 6 metres in length! I managed a couple of very poor, distant shots that show the classic surface profile and characteristic dorsal fin.

false killer whale
false killer whale
The arrival of a swift sp. was also an interesting sight as the bird wheeled around the ship- a new species for me in this part of the world and one of only a handful of non-seabirds seen this far offshore.

swift sp.
A nice little flock of 5 pomarine skuas put on a show for 10 minutes or so as they initially harassed a great shearwater and then decided to chase the swarms of flying fish flushed from the sea by our bow wave. Nice to see so much plumage variation on these birds!

4/5 poms- not too bad!
A nice end to the day was seeing a school of surface feeding tuna as they chased the small bait fish- an even better sight when a few sooty terns joined in the feast.

sooty tern over tuna and bait-ball

FOOTNOTE 26.06.2013 Following subsequent scrutiny of my blog and the initial dodgy swift ID (initially thought to be a white-chinned swift) it comes to light that the bird could well be a common swift, apus apus........this could be really exciting as not only could it be a first for Suriname but quite possibly a first for south America!!

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