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Monday, January 11, 2010

Latest Position

Posted in the UK by I & G.

Golgafrincham - and a question

Position 0630 11th 4104 04720, trip 106, dmg 106 - efficiency at last! 984 to Kerguelen, 4365 by rhumb line to Maatsuyker, less if we go further south towards the great circle - ugly front due tonight then soft high pressure systems for a few days. Won't be comfortable.

Day 19 from Cape Town. A Golgafrinchan day today - we'll sanitise the telephones, dispense fragrance throughout the office, facilitate meetings, fold a pointy end into the bog roll, ask everyone how their day is going. And I will shave.

The 2 Amsterdams are still with us, as well as the orange necked 'southern'. Indian Ocean Yellow Noses abundant, Various Prions in flocks mingled with White Chinned and other petrels. Swirling masses of birds, thousands, sometimes albatrosses slow and serene - scornfully imperial - in their midst. Wish I could send you photos. Breathtaking is an overused word - there's laziness in Golgafrincham today - like people always 'crashing' out of the tennis, there always being 'gobbets' of fat in the soup, sloppy stuff. But sometimes it really does take the breath - elemental, transfixing and seared into the polished surfaces of all 3 neurons never to be erased. Paradise but for the weather!

All y'all - is there anyone out there who would like to acquire a folder (unedited) of hundreds of bird photos? Some pretty good, though mostly telephoto so some distortion and loss of sharpness. Images in both raw and .jpg basic. Freebie, but perhaps donation to Albatross Conservation Fund or Berri iridium tin? Will have to wait until we get home, if that ever happens. We may have been diverted like the Golgafrinchans. Let me know and I'll make as many copies as needed.

SJ - with glitch in Africa station, did you get my reply to Speedy query? Separate note to follow re other stuff but losing propagation with Africa as range increases so may do via iridium in next day or so.

Neither Tryffid nor Jackal

The day of the albatross. Several Yellow Noses wheeling and soaring, often in formation and with petrels. Lots of petrels, mostly white chinned, some smaller. Occasionally a Storm Petrel.

A completely black or dark brown bird, albatross sized, massive white beak, not in the book. Possibly a giant petrel.

Another really big one, perhaps a snowy or southern royal - white underparts, dark white speckled top, white patches, flesh pink beak with orange tip, distinctive pinky orange neck band. Neck band not like anything in the book.

And what I think is one of the rarest of all - an Amsterdam - breeds only on Isle Amsterdam 1500 miles away and only 120 thought to exist according to the book. There were at least 2 of them.

Another, not immediately identifiable - dark all over except for head and neck, mottled/speckled brown with brown 'mohican' yellowish beak, darker end. Possibly a variant Amsterdam.

I have photos of all but the black one. Entirely possible they are all maturity or seasonal variants of distinct species.

I hope there's someone out there who is interested. If anyone can offer clues as to correct ID, please do!

Typical convergence zone conditions. Humid, low overcast, occasional drizzle, not much wind. Wallow and flop and roll. Poo!

Seems the Africa sailmail station server is down again. No incoming and I've tried several times to post bloggery and to retrieve gribs and no go. This via Iridium. If you get the earlier posts three times on the blog, my apologies. Perhaps the omnipotent SJ will notice and delete. If so - tks!