Thursday, 7 August 2014

St Marys - Evening Pelagic Cory's etc

The crossing was a great start to the trip but the evening got even better! A 5.00 start on Sapphire with Joe Pender saw us cruising out on a Blue Shark hunt (which would incidently also attract seabirds). My personal target was to get a good view of Cory's Shearwater and upgrade the views of  Great Shearwater!

One of the first decent birds we saw was a distant Cory's and as the evening wore on, it turned into feast of Cory's Shearwater (253) with an estimated 30 seen. As the evening wore on and the light dropped they seem to come closer and closer but I'm getting used to the record shot standard of late - apologies for the lack of feather detail and catchlight - here the closest approach and highlight of the evening!

More Great Shearwater! At least 20 were seen...

Typically coming in close - as the light faded!

Now why couldn't one of them have copied this Fulmar by doing a bit of surface feeding of the chum?

Storm Petrels (254) too, difficult to count as they kept coming in and out of view but had to have been at least 20!

The most unusual sighting was this Leatherback Turtle which surfaced, extending it's head to in air for a minute of so! Someone likened it's size to a 'mini roof' (they can grow to over 2 metres long!) - bearing in mind this was c100m away that's some mighty turtle!!

We had also seen three Blue Sharks landed - all carefully tagged and returned, here's 'Baby Jaws!

Complete with tag - helping us understand more about their movements!!

One or two Great Skuas (255) too mugging the gulls near a French trawler... We cruised back in near darkness.

Target species no 2 well and truly dusted..... Is a Wilson's going to come to the party tomorrow evening??

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