Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Oceanic Wanderers – Birding Wonders of the Australian Bight

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The vast waters off Australia's southern coastline are among the best in the world for viewing nature's oceanic pelagic wanderers.

This zone, where the air is never still, hosts the most diverse collection of seabirds in the world. Put simply, it is a birder's paradise and on the 'must-do' lists of all true nature-lovers.

Heritage Expeditions is offering an exclusive opportunity to join an authentic once-off expedition into the heartland of Australasia's seabird population from Albany, Western Australia to Hobart, Tasmania departing on 2nd December 2012 - 'Birding the Australian Bight'

Many only ever get to experience the fringes of these seas on day trips; but this expedition aims to go further and deeper into the world of these amazing birds and their surrounding environment.

Spending six days at sea on board the 'Spirit of Enderby', the voyage will follow a submerged continental shelf where the birdlife is at its richest, and the numbers and sheer diversity are overwhelming.

Passengers can expect to see up to 14 different species of albatross; elusive Pterodroma petrels that cruise offshore; massive colonies of shearwaters that gather before heading to their breeding grounds; and other Southern Ocean species that are rarely seen in Australian waters. The southern coastline is also home to numerous dolphins and whales that feed in the nutrient-rich seas.

The expedition cruise will be escorted by one of the world's most experienced birding tour leaders, renowned ornithologist and author, Chris Doughty. Doughty has field experience with more than 6,700 different species of birds and has led birding tours to every corner of the globe, even adding new species to the Australian list. He is also the author of the field guide to the Birds of The Solomons, Vanuatu and New Caledonia.

The 50-passenger 'Spirit of Enderby' is the perfect vessel for this type of expedition. Fully refurbished in 2009, the ship provides comfortable cabin-style accommodation, most with private facilities. All cabins have outside windows or portholes and spacious deck areas for wildlife viewing. There is also a combined bar/library, lounge area and a dedicated lecture room on board.

Prices for this exclusive 9-day expedition start from US$2,000 per person (triple share) through to US$5,200 per person (twin-share) for the Heritage Suite, and include on board ship accommodation, meals, transfers and all shore excursions.

For further information phone 0800 262 8873 (NZ), 1800 143 585 (Australia) or visit www.heritage-expeditions.com