Saturday, 20 August 2016

Scilly Pelagic no 9 - Shearwaters and Wilson's!!

It wasn't the best of starts, gale force westerly winds and a squall hitting at departure time. In fact, we were the only craft departing from St Mary's - no Scillonian today, no inter-island boats and sadly a few no-show birders - just look at the empty seats!!

We had to contend with another soaking as we steamed around St Martins heading north east where we would drift missing the worst of a BIG sea!

The key (likely) target birds were all going to come in today as well! Starting with Cory's Shearwater....

We must have seen 16 Cory's but they were upstaged by Great Shearwater, only six seen but they came close offering pretty amazing views! This one zipping through.....

What's that coming over the wave..... - it's another monster bird!

 Effortlessly circling the boat!

Before taking a breather?

But not for long!

Just about keeping up with this sequence?

 This memory will linger on.......

Once again, the European Storm Petrels were almost constantly with the boat......

But we wanted more! The final instalment just had to be Wilson's Petrel and having been teased by just a single distant bird the previous weekend, we were in for a treat today! The Wilson's and there must have been four present gave exceptional views, really nice to see Alex and Steph amongst others who had come specifically for them to be given such an amazing result!

Exceptional views don't necessarily transfer into images of course, they are tricky in the extreme and whilst I'm happy with some of these it looks like I'll have to return for a killer upperwing shot?

Those loooong legs :-)

The final Wilson's of the day and an upperwing that means I'll be back!

We were joined on the final run in to St Mary's by an adult Yellow-legged Gull. Might not be among the premier league seabirds but a 'Pelagic first ' for me and proof indeed, it ain't over until you're in the harbour!

With all those Cory's in the bag, overwhelming proof again they are attracted by 'pink'.

And rain? What rain??

And I nearly forgot, plenty of Gannet images from the pelagics not sorted but here's a close up from today!

I shall savour the memory of this day as the best of the fortnight for sheer quality birds and at the end of the day, that's what it's all about. Yet another long day tomorrow looming and an early (8.00am) departure!!

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