Saturday, 12 August 2017


11 Aug - I decided to go on the Isles of Scilly pelagic boat trip that I'd pencilled in, as it's been a very good seabird season in the SW especially with all the unsettled weather. So a drive and a crossing on the Scillonian set me up for an evening trip out with Joe Pender and a return home the next day (after b and b for 1 night). The weather was cloudy with a SW breeze, good conditions, and the crossing from Penzance was eventful with very large numbers of Manx Shearwaters - also 5 Cory's and a Sooty Shearwater, with a few Storm Petrels also seen. The trip on the Sapphire was very bouncy on a sea with a considerable swell, but almost immediately we came upon a mixed flock of Shearwaters including both Great and Cory's - unfortunately photography was a challenge with the poor light, a bit of drizzle, and the swell affecting balance on the boat - but good views were had especially of the majestic Cory's gliding around, and of the slightly more delicate Greats "shearing" in the wind. We also put out some fish oil to attract Storm Petrels, and as well as the fluttering Stormies we saw 2 Wilson's Petrels - distinctive with their larger and squarer size, stronger secondary bars and projecting feet. The trip is also excellent for views of Gannets and Fulmars, and these accompanied us back to harbour as the evening closed in. Terrible traffic on the Saturday trying to get back from Cornwall - 6 hours! but worth it.........

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