Jeff Clarke Ecology

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MV Balmoral - Barbados to San Diego - 31st January to 19th February Central American Pacific to San Diego All images are taken on the tour. Copyright Jeff Clarke Ecology Ltd  unless otherwise stated. Click on images to enlarge. 9th  - 12th January – steaming toward Puerta Vallarta Back out at sea heading up the pacific coast of Central America. We once again gathered a horde of Boobys around the ship, with most again concentrating their feeding efforts on the starboard side of the ship. Much of the time this involved several species, though the composition would change subtly as we steamed northward toward Mexico. Brown Boobys were by far the most abundant species, but they were periodically joined by Red-...
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16-17/02/17 - Puerto Chacabuco to Chiloe Click on the images to see them at a larger size. By early morning Boudicca was anchored off Puerto Chacabuco and shortly after breakfast we were tendered ashore. At the port gates the four of us hired a taxi to take us out to a few birding spots. A brief roadside stop, at what I suspect was meant to be a retail opportunity for one of the taxi drivers relatives, provided instead a photo opportunity for Austral Thrush and Fire-eyed Diucon. Fire-eyed Diucon © Jeff Clarke Pretty soon we arrived at the Visitor Centre of the Rio Simpson National Nature Reserve. The dense forest made photography difficult but soon a movement in the scrub captured our attention. It took a while to get the...
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11/02/17 Punta Arenas and the Magellan Strait Click on the images to see them at a larger size. After four flights we finally reached our destination of Punta Arenas, Chile, situated on the north side of the Magellan Strait in deepest Patagonia. Here we joined the Fred. Olsen owned cruise ship Boudicca on my latest speaker tour. Among other things I would be lecturing on the birds and cetaceans of the region. I was accompanied on this occasion by my fellow ecologist and cetacean enthusiast Anthony (Anno) Brandreth. Ship business prevented us from exploring ashore so we had to content ourselves with a session viewing the Magellan Straits from Deck 10. Brown-hooded and Kelp gulls were much in evidence, as was Chilean Skua, Souther...
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The thing about New Zealand is that it’s a lot bigger than you think it is and it also takes longer to get to places than you expect. In 2012 we had to give up on the idea of getting to Stewart Island/Rakiura but this time we rectified the omission by scheduling a three day visit. To get there you cross the Foveaux Strait from Bluff by ferry (or small plane). Just before we boarded I jokingly mentioned to my Wife and friends that it was usually referred to as the ‘Notorious’ Foveaux Strait. They had the last laugh as I was the one who succumbed to seasickness on the one-hour rollercoaster crossing. I noted a few White-capped Albatrosses trailing in our wake, but the swell and the spray made birding untenable. We stayed at the lovely...
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Some places draw you back time and again. Such a place is Kaikoura in New Zealand. The town itself is great and has a laid back, environmentally conscious, vibe. The setting is special too but what draws me back is the wealth of ocean-going wildlife. You can engage with it in a whole variety of ways but my personal favourite is via Encounter Kaikoura. They get me, and thousands like me, intimately acquainted with albatrosses and numerous other species of tubenose as well as giving me the opportunity to get in the water with the local Dusky Dolphins. For a seabird and cetacean nut like me what could be sweeter? A view of the Seaward Kaikoura range from the Albatross Encounter boat All images © Jeff Clarke 2015 ( Click on the image...
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