Friday, 8 August 2014

St Mary's - Cory's pelagic fest!!

Every pelagic is different but this one upped the ante big-time with what was by general consensus perhaps the best showing of Cory's Shearwater in these waters for the assembled locals and visiting birders alike!! We were steaming South and with the bread driven gulls announcing our presence, it wasn't long before the shout of "Cory's" rang out! It was to be a familiar call for the next 40 minutes or so.......

First one then two, five..... ten....... at all distances but some soooo close to the boat! An unbelievable estimate of 200!!

It kicked off with medium range Cory's......







Then coming closer!




The 300mm lens was just about coping with the speed of them!




And that's not forgetting 40+ Great Shearwaters, 4 Sooty Shearwaters, 4 Great Skua and 25+ Storm Petrels, Manxies etc!!

Here's a few images of some of the Great Shearwaters.....


An unexpected bit of sun on this one!




The underwing....


And that in your face eye contact moment!


Great Shearwaters seem to be constantly flying but they DO stop for food and generally give the gulls a hard time if they try to muscle in!


A final portrait with the last rays of sun shining across the water.....



In amongst it all, a candidate Scopoli's Shearwater - the 'Scopory' if you haven't seen Bob Flood's take on this - follow this link to RBA. He has the description in hand (if it's pursued) A more delicate bird, the smaller head and slender bill plus white fingering into the primaries. There's also the single spot at the base of the outermost primaries (note the two in the typical Cory's lower down)




Here's the same bird low on the water....


A couple of  straightforward Cory's for comparison! Even where the light is bleaching the primary tips in the lower picture, there are no 'fingers'.



And after all that excitement! Plenty of Fulmar!!


Here's a couple of Bonxies.




That has to be quite simply one of the most amazing birding experiences - EVER - and everyone seemed to be sailing back wearing a permanent grin :-) :-) :-)


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