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UK Birder Dick Filby joins One Ocean Expeditions in Antarctica

31st August 2010 Print
Dick Filby

Birdwatchers worldwide will be interested to hear the news that One Ocean Expeditions will have specialist field birder, Dick Filby onboard the Marina Svetaeva, One Ocean Expeditions’ ice-strengthened expedition cruise ship, for three early 2011 polar cruises.

Sailing from Ushuaia, Argentina in January and February 2011, the voyages will visit the scenic Antarctic Peninsula, the ice-choked waters of the Weddell Sea and the overwhelmingly wildlife rich sub-Antarctic island of South Georgia and the Falkland Islands – all renowned as important birding destinations and some of the most beautiful and inspiring places on earth.

All three voyages offer potentially unrivalled bird, cetacean and marine mammal sightings. Essential to the success of One Ocean Expeditions special birding voyages is the sharp-eyed birder Dick Filby – who freely admits his favourite possessions are his Swarovski binoculars and spotting scope – although another important element is, without a doubt, the birders themselves as many pairs of observant eyes ensure more species are spotted than on the average voyage.

Dick Filby has been a birder since pre-school (his ‘learn to read books’ were bird books) and, for the last 20 years, he has led birding trips in the Polar regions and other birding hot-spots around the world. He has seen most of the world’s seabird species, including all the penguins and alcids and, with an impressive UK species list of 500, only a handful of birders have seen more. A familiar name in the UK birding fraternity, Dick Filby founded the premier Rare Bird Alert news service in 1991 and now provides up to 500 or more updates a day on all the scarce and rare bird sightings in the UK.

Dick Filby is passionate about all aspects of Antarctica, its birds, wildlife and conservation. His love affair with Antarctica began in 1990 and he has been back to the White Continent almost every season since. “Travelling on the southern ocean filled with albatross, petrels and cetaceans, is one of my all time favourites,” says Filby “as is being onshore at one of Antarctica’s many vast penguin colonies”.

The staggering list of expected bird species on the three Antarctic departures includes chinstrap, Adelie and gentoo penguins; wandering, royal, black-browed, grey-headed and light-mantled sooty albatross; both giant petrels, southern fulmar, cape, snow, soft-plumaged, blue and white-chinned petrels; Antarctic and slender-billed prions; Wilson’s and black-bellied storm petrels; common diving petrel, Antarctic shags and snowy sheathbill; Chilean, brown and South Polar skuas plus Antarctic terns.

During these spectacular wildlife voyages, guests would also expect to encounter cetaceans such as humpback, Antarctic Minke and orca, as well as Peale’s and hourglass dolphins but also possibly blue, fin and southern right whales. Other marine mammals should include Weddell, crabeater, Antarctic fur and leopard seals.

The Marina Svetaeva is a great platform for wildlife watching with plenty of deck space, a ‘quick’ lunch option for those who prefer to be on deck rather than in the dining room and an adventurer’s lounge where staff will serve hot chocolate to the die-hard birders and wildlife spotters.

In addition to the spectacular wildlife there is also the wonders of the ice, from iceberg filled channels to the huge tabular bergs of the Weddell Sea.

Photographic (still and video) opportunities are superb throughout.

Departure Dates & Prices:

1: Antarctic Peninsula (10-nights onboard) 27 January – 6 February 2011 from $5990 per person sharing a triple cabin
2: Antarctica, the Falklands & South Georgia (18-nights onboard) 6– 24 February 2011 from $10990 per person sharing a triple cabin
3: Weddell Sea Explorer (12-nights onboard) 24 February – 8 March 2011 from $5990 per person sharing a triple cabin

Price includes: Accommodation and all meals aboard ship, services of expert birder Dick Filby, port taxes, Zodiac landings, optional overnight camping in Antarctica and free onboard wet weather gear and boot loan onboard.

For more information and reservations, visit:

More Photos - Click to Enlarge

Dick Filby Marina Svetaeva