Sunday, 20 August 2017

Scilly pelagic no 10 - Atlantic Crossroads

I was correct, it was a very WET Sunday, it was rain / drizzle for virtually the whole 7 hours from an 8.00 start. But that doesn't mean it wasn't another special Sunday? In fact, Wilson's Petrel (10+) gave their best showing of the whole trip which plus another 2 Cory's Shearwater and 10 Great Shearwater meant it was a 10th successive BIG 3 sweep!

The Atlantic may seem to be a featureless random ocean but with prevailing winds, currents and movement of fish it becomes a migration highway. And the Isles of Scilly regularly act as a crossroads between the Arctic and Antarctica. Sabine's Gulls having spent the Summer in the the North of Canada or Greenland head south east whilst Wilson's Petrels head north from Antarctica to the relative warmth and food in the north Atlantic.

And today we were to witness the amazing journey these pelagic birds make, surviving through unimaginable conditions!

The first and only Sabine's Gull of the series heading south ...

Having a look to see if there is any food on offer?

Luckily Higgo was busy squeezing fish livers, the decision to stay was a no-brainer!

I'd have loved to have got them in the same frame but here's the first Wilson's Petrel, heading north!

And this is why birders come - moments like this!

Despite the rain, classic Wilson's moments!

And yellow webs shining out - with todays birds, an estimated 26 Wilson's for the 10 pelagics I've done!

One or two more yellow webs to come?