Saturday, 11 August 2018

Scilly Pelagic no 3 - Shearwaters and Petrels

A brisk southerly 20-25mph breeze greeted Sapphire as we steamed south from St Mary's in search of feeding frenzies. Here's a taste of some gentle rock and roll as Sapphire heads out...



The sea was beginning to become more menacing as got 8 miles offshore and opted to drift eastwards before using the lee of the islands to dampen down the swell. It was a Great Shearwater spectacular with an estimated 200 seen...





Most beyond the range for photography but that didn't stop me trying to get some lined up with the passing Scillonian! They were probably getting a closer view at times?




Just a single Cory's Shearwater seen but at least that was a close pass!




As we eventually cut the engines and drifted, the chum worked it's magic and drew in the local Storm Petrels, at least 50 working their way up the oily slick and passing by the boat.





They have to be one of the trickiest subjects, constantly changing direction as they passed by.





It was looking like a no show for Wilson's Petrel but patience and the waiting game will eventually pay dividends and we had excellent views of this single bird...


The classic flight pose!



A brief dance on the water before ending up in the glare upwind and into the light!



And we all got wet, but smiling all the way in...


With 200+ Manx Shearwater, a single Balearic and 35 stand offish Sooties, we cleaned up on all the expected Shearwaters and Petrels. 2 Bonxies finally put in an appearance too!

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