Tales of travel and birds from Cheshire to Shetland and back, with a bit of other stuff in between.
Tuesday, 31 August 2010
Got the phone call i had been waiting for late Sunday afternoon? One of the local Pelagic boats, the Charisma (made famous by Gordon Buchanan on last years Autumn Watch) was heading out to sea later that evening and i was invited. All in the hope i could catch up with Killer Whales. We set off later that night and set course for Cape Wrath on the NW tip of Scotland. A smooth and uneventful voyage to our destination, which we reached just before lunch on Monday. Along the way some seawatching (obviously) was to be had from the comfort of my cabin (more like a suite). A few Manx Shearwaters and Storm Petrels whizzed by and a Minke Whale went by the window as i was on the phone to the wife. Once in the fishing area we searched along with sister ships Antares and the Zephyr. Typically whilst we searched it was blue skies and sunshine but, just after 3pm the Charisma shot her nets for a catch and the sky was grey, typical when you want to take photographs. First up was a Minke Whale breaching on the end of the net. Then Sooty and Manx Shearwater (10+ of each), plenty of Storm Petrels but always distant, 2 Arctic Skua, a Blue Fulmar and a juv Arctic Tern. But, unfortunately no Killer Whales, although i did receive a text from John Lowrie to say they had one pass them heading south. Problem was when i looked to see where they were, they were already 5 miles south of our position!
With a decent haul we made our way back to Lerwick. Around the Fair Isle mark the nets were cast again for cleaning and repair. 1 Sooty Shearwater appeared, a dozen or so Storm Petrels and a blue Fulmar nearly escaped detection. Then we were back, a cracking experience and one i hope to do again sometime soon. hopefully with some Killer Whales?