Sunday, 12 August 2018

Scilly Pelagic no 4 - Great Shearwater

Whilst numbers were down somewhat, there were still another 60 Great Shearwater around today!



Always love to see these birds flying directly at the boat!


Then past the boat!






Scilly Pelagic no 4 - Balearic Shearwater

The wind had eased overnight to a 12mph westerly and it was another mission due south looking for feeding Gannets atc and we hit the first just 2 miles from St Mary's...

We only saw one Balearic Shearwater but it stayted with us for a while and put on quite a show!


A nice burst of flight...



And it circled around for more of the same...







 
Probably the best display I've seen to date?

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. 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!


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!

Friday, 10 August 2018

Scilly Pelagic no 2 - Sooty Shearwater

There were an estimated  75 Sooty Shearwaters in and around the feeding frenzies we witnessed this evening. Normally 'birds in a hurry' as they flash past, usually irritatingly distant but tonight with no need to hunt for food, they were amazingly obliging...

With some simply loafing on the water...







Which often means you're just a take off image away from...




Some closer flight shots!




I haven't even sorted the Great Shearwater images!!

Scilly Pelagic no 2 - Wilson's Petrel

We are an hour into the pelagic, nothing of note seen... Suddenly a call of "Wilsons" has everyone straining to get on it - bins searching hopefully in the swell... Wilson's Petrel, amazing light... phew camera also onto it...

 

Long glides, edging ever nearer...


Those toes showing nicely and a bit of eye-to-eye contact...


A final pass, then away...


It's not job done either , another three hours before heading back but for the moment, nothing else really matters!

Scilly Pelagic no 2 - Manx Shearwater

Understated, often ignored, rarely counted and seemingly ever present, Manx Shearwaters are surely worthy of a pic or two! They aren't the best 'performers', often staying well away from the boat. So here's a few pics of some, shortly after leaving St Mary's heading south for better birds...



Drifting closer...


They don't always appreciate close approach...



 Off and away....


Now off for Wilson's and co??

Thursday, 9 August 2018

Scilly Pelagic no 1 - Wilson's fest

What a start! Steaming 7.5 miles South in an 18mph westerly and despite a complete absence of Cory's Shearwater we were into Great Shearwaters, quite early on. Ending up with a great tally of 43 boosted by a late show on the run in back to St Mary's...

There's clearly a 'frenzy' or two in the area and Tuna probably concentrating the birds into a small area - just hope we catch up with them!!




Wilson's Petrel put on a show which has rarely been bettered numbers wise with a minimum of 14 seen. The first one was just over 3 miles out and 'if only' the others had been as showy, preferring to linger in the glare of the sun in the slick!




Pogo agogo...


And a brief flash of yellow :-)


A good support act from 6 Sooty Shearwater, numerous Manx Shearwater, Ocean Sunfish and with this trip being a fishing trip, a chance to see Porbeagle Shark tagged and returned...