The rarest Albatross in the world was declared extinct in 1949, but happily some survived at sea and returned to breed in 1954. I photographed this bird three days ago, 12 nautical miles from the Japanese island of Torishima where millions had been slaughtered for their feathers until their protection in 1934. Despite this they stopped breeding on the island and in 1949 it was thought that the last had perished. However from 25 known birds that returned in 1954 there are over 1900 birds breeding on Torishima and a second small population has been discovered on some islands off the Korean coast. DNA studies may indicate that this is a similar close related species, which would mean that is becomes one of the rarest birds in the world. In the meantime work continues to conserve this beautiful Albatross on Torishima. After 32 hours travel my bed awaits but I will try and report more of the journey from New Zealand to Japan aboard the Spirit of Enderby in the next few days.