Over the Easter holidays I was out in a boat doing a spot of fishing - and what a nice evening meal we had that day! - when we were joined by up sone Shy Albatross. They gradually gradually over a couple of hours, first one, then so more and eventually we had six around the boat. They were just loafing about hoping for some free fish - which we provided - and then they would just effortlessly follow the boat whenever it moved. I enjoyed the fishing - but the albatross were better!
The Shy Albatross - Thalassarche cauta - is (confusingly) described as the largest of the medium sized albatrosses, which is the kind of thing that makes me weep when I see it in a guide book.
Luckily, they have a noticeable black patch in their 'armpit' which can be used to ID them. Now, to be honest, I think all of these birds are Shy Albatross - and all the ones I saw on the wing had the black armpit. But I am not sure I saw all of the birds on the wing - and once they are the water, I don't have much experience with this group of birds.
The truth of the matter is that they are wonderful birds regardless of whatever name we have invented for them - and it was a real pleasure having them around the boat all morning.