|Black-browed Albatross; pelagic off Cape Hatteras on Feb.18, 2012|
|Full Adult; the first adult of the species photographed in the US?|
|With 1st-cycle Great Black-backed Gull; I wonder how often these species meet?|
|With Northern Gannets; another unusual juxtaposition!|
|In flight; notice how close we are to the shoreline in the background. Also note the molting flight feathers. I have read that albatrosses have to take a year off from nesting to molt.|
|During the ~45-minute view, it mostly sat on the water. This is the only glimpse of the underwings I captured|
|Overexposed and cropped photo shows a dark iris; an indication the bird is from the nominate race/subspecies and may be from the Falkland Islands off Argentina (rather than Campbell Island)|
|My first photo of the bird at 4:40 pm; imagine if it had disappeared after this shot|
|And the second capture; nice and blurry like most of my pelagic photos|
|Bob Fogg aboard the Stormy Petrel II (captained by Brian Patteson) with the Albatross in the background. Bob spotted the bird fly into the wake (apparently they go for chum)|
|Jeff Pippen taking an iPhone photo of the bird to be sent instantly to his lawyer for safe keeping. Jeff led a group from the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University that fortunately included me!|
Sorry about the shakiness, the boat just wouldn't hold still. This clip is better for shake than many of the others I took (too much zoom), but just to be safe, you may want to pop some dramamine.
Huge thanks to Captain Brian, 1st mate Kate and spotters Bob and Dave for a fantastic trip. It was a phenomenal day even discounting this bird (lifer #1550 and my 5th of the day!).
For more on the context of this find and details about other cool birds and non-birds seen on the trip, check out my follow-up post.