Jeff Clarke Ecology

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21-22 /02/17 Two Days at Sea -  Heading North for Arica Click on the images to enlarge to full size. If our wildlife expectations had been met so far in the tour, they were about to enter another dimension of superlative. Dawn was still breaking, on our first day since Coquimbo, when I made it out on deck. It was immediately obvious that things were afoot. There had clearly been a significant attraction of seabirds to the ship overnight. I quickly rescued a couple of stranded Buller’s Shearwaters and put them over the side. I kept coming across early rising passengers with bloodied hands, who had done something similar, but hadn’t reckoned with the powerful ripping hooked tips to their bills. Lesson 1: Don’t mess with an indign...
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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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