Jeff Clarke Ecology

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Updates and photos from around the world on my travels both through pleasure and work

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In Pursuit of Prions (Part 6) - Akaroa {yoogallery src=[/images/stories/blog/akaroa]} We awoke to a glorious blue sky and the majestic view of the Bank's Peninsula. The hum of mechanical machinery testified to the activity involved in lowering the ship's tenders, which we boarded shortly after breakfast to make landfall at the delightful town of Akaroa. We were booked to travel back out with Black Cat Cruises to swim with Hector's Dolphin's but with time to explore we investigated some nearby parkland and native scrub. What was to become the familiar sound of native Bellbird's greeted our ears, this was periodically overlain by the sibilant lilting of Grey Warblers, we managed some reasonable views of both species and a few record pho...
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In Pursuit of Prions (Part 5) - Otago {yoogallery src=[/images/stories/blog/otago]}As we sailed towards Dunedin past the Otago peninsula nesting colonies of Stewart Island Shags could be seen on the headland. Shortly after Docking we joined the Monarch Wildlife Cruises and headed for a rendezvous with New Zealand Fur Seals. We were soon enjoying their rather pungent presence, with bulls, yearlings and mothers with new pups all present. As a big bonus were were also entertained by a female Hooker's Sea Lion that was patrolling the edges of the seal colony. The fur seals I'm sure were less enamoured of her presence as she was almost certainly there to predate a seal pup. We moved around the headland to view the Northern Royal Albatrosses whic...
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In Pursuit of Prions (part4) 2 days on the Tasman Sea {yoogallery src=[/images/stories/blog/tasmansea2]}Saturday 24th November dawned bright with a moderate breeze on the Tasman Sea south west of Tasmania. Perfect for photographing seabirds. Would I finally see my first Prion? A circuit of the promenade deck soon demonstrated the days potential as several albatrosses could be seen trailing in the wake. A succession of Gibson's Wandering Albatrosses weaved across the ship's foamy footprint, occasionally making a closer approach and enabling me to take a few images. Periodically other seabirds would whip by and some like the Cookilaria petrels would remain unidentified to species. Thankfully most would be visible for long enough to put a name...
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In Pursuit of Prions (Part 3) Tasmania {yoogallery src=[/images/stories/blog/pofpmtfield]}As we disembarked the ship in Hobart yesterday's stormy conditions were a distant memory as we were bathed in glorious sunshine and barely a whisper of a breeze. As we left the quayside we were entertained by some nesting Welcome Swallows and some Tree Martins. We soon arranged a hire car and headed inland to the big tree country of Mt Field National Park.As we headed out of Hobart a White-bellied Sea Eagle crossed our bow. We stopped briefly at the Derwent River near Granton to observe Australian Pelicans, 100's of Black Swans and flock of Hoary Grebes. They were all a bit too far away on for reasonable photographs so we presses on and about an hour l...
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In Pursuit of Prions (Part 2) Tasman Sea - Sydney to Hobart {yoogallery src=[/images/stories/blog/pofptas1]} For this blog I have used images that missed the cull for my new talk on New Zealand but are still decent images. As the MS Oosterdam headed out of Sydney into the late evening we cleared the Heads at Manley with just enough light left to see hordes of Short-tailed Shearwaters in the inshore waters. A stiffening breeze had the ship rocking in the night and we awoke to leaden skies a very lumpy Tasman Sea. The first task was to work out the best watchpoints on the ship. It was disappointing to find there was no access to the bow and this meant I was largely confined to the forward and and aft sections of the promenade deck and t...
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