A possible Amsterdam Albatross ?

A possible Amsterdam Albatross

Diomedea (exulans) amsterdamensis

Pictures: Teus Luijendijk

Some 200 miles SSW of Tristan da Cunha (at 40°39'S 16°38'W) an 'immature type' Wandering Albatross D. exulans was observed following the ship (as well as several others). It stood out because it was overall quite dark and it showed a quite obvious dark bill tip. As this is indicative of the rare taxon Amsterdam Albatross D. (exulans) amsterdamensis , many birders onboard became rather nervous with this bird, that showed up next to the ship only now and then. I managed to take some video shots, some of which - I must admit - were taken before I even noticed the possibility of it being an extreme rarity in these waters! The latter two were taken in evening light (hence the blue hue), but these also show its relatively small size, compared to a Black-browed Albatross Thalassarche melanophris .
The following morning it was found to have left the wake of the ship during the night.

   Amsterdam Albatross ? Diomedea (exulans) amsterdamensis , bottom left: with Black-browed Albatross Thalassarche
;  videograbs (20x).
   approx. 200 miles SSW of Tristan da Cunha, 30 March 2002.

      Amsterdam Albatross ? Diomedea (exulans) amsterdamensis ;  Scanned pictures (Hans Ackered).
      approx. 200 miles SSW of Tristan da Cunha, 30 March 2002.


Copyright ©Teus Luijendijk 2003