Monday, 15 August 2011

Full time

After a few too many Cornish Rattler last night it was time to pack up with a slightly sore head this morning. With the tents tucked away it was off to the 'old town cafe' for breakfast, something we have sorely missed the last couple of days. Whilst tucking into our fry ups we were alerted to the sound of Bee-eater, sure enough hawking high in the sky was our target bird for the day. We watched as it disappeared over Peninnis Cue crap photo.

The rest of the day was spent mooching around the island getting lunch and buying presents. The trip back on the Scillonian was largely uneventful, lots of Manx Shearwater again, 1 maybe 2 Sooty's, a Balearic Shearwater close to Penzance and a possible pod of Orca's that i didn't see. Other than that a cracking trip spent in great company, apart from Black Shite! Cheers to Phil Woolen for doing all the driving, even with a knackered shoulder? Mark Payne & Matt Meehan for there constant sniping and general entertainment value. Great to meet Sussex birders Jake Everitt, Matt Eade and Land's End RSPB guy Chris Griffin. Massive thanks to Joe Pender, Bob Flood and Ash Fisher for there eyes, skill and expertise.

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Tony the Tiger says "Great Shear's are Grrrreat" - Day 3

Up early again to warm sunshine and very little wind. Good sunbathing weather, maybe not so good pelagic conditions? We steamed out and started to drift and chum, it was immediately noticeable the lack of birds in the fine weather. As we drifted a few shark lines were cast with 2 Blue Sharks being caught in the process. The first was just a baby, as for the second i think it was mum? A good 8 foot long and weighing in at approx 140lbs, more pleasing for me was the fact that i am claiming a co-landing participation as i held onto the rod whilst the guys wrestled with it. With bugger all happening, it was again decided to steam for yet again another trawler. This time the trawler had birds, and lots of them. First up was a very showy Sooty Shearwater that performed to the masses on board.

If we thought the Sooty was a treat a Great Shearwater joined us and gave spectacularly close prolonged views, at times too damn close.

With our boots well and truly filled it was  time to head back to shore, along the way a pod of Common Dolphins performed there aqua acrobatics to gasps of oooh and aaah.

Another night in various pubs, a good Sunday roast and a pub quiz rounded off a fantastic day at sea.

Saturday, 13 August 2011

When Baly met Saby! - Day 2

After a quick recky to Co-op for lunch supplies it was back on the boat for the first of 2 all-day pelagics.With the Wilson's in the bag the atmosphere was relaxed, well it was amongst the chaps that got it. The weather was crap again but at least the sea state was a lot better. We headed out to Seven Stones and caught up with a Pomarine Skua on the way, upon reaching our destination it was very under whelming with very little happening so it was decided we should steam for a trawler some 90 minutes away! A good call as en route a Balearic Shearwater took a fancy to our chumming and gave great views.

Also along the way a Great Shearwater flew past, obviously on a mission and not even giving us a second glance. Best of all was an Adult Sabines Gull that cruised past heading for the now not so distant trawler.

Once at the trawler Bob Flood picked out a Great Shearwater, presumably the bird from earlier which gave decent views. A few Storm Petrels throughout the day but no Wilson's. Again it was off to the Scillonian club for beer and food. A great day out but unbeknown to us better was to come?

Friday, 12 August 2011

Yes, Prime Minister ? - Day 1

After travelling through the night to Penzance and getting a couple of hours kip in a dark corner of Tesco (god knows how many hundred free spaces in the car park, yet when i wake a car has parked right next to us, with the car park still completely empty! Whats all that about?),we fed up in the local cafe and boarded the Scillonian, or the puke bucket as its affectionately known. The crossing over to St Mary's was largely uneventful with a Minke Whale putting in the usual brief show and lots of Manx Shearwater on offer. Once on Scilly we set camp at the Garrison and made some new acquaintances then headed off north for a look at the Woodchat Shrike, sure enough it showed well albeit distantly.

With the Shrike in the bag (figuratively speaking) it was off to town for grub ready for a short evenings pelagic on board the Sapphire. A ropey sea state to say the least, 2m swells coupled with light rain, bloody great. Fortunately the weather and sea we encountered were perfect conditions for Wilson's Storm Petrel, and it wasn't long before Bob Flood shouted the news i wanted "Wilson's". For the next 30-40 minutes we were treated to some fantastic views at close range too. Unfortunately my camera skills weren't up to much and all my settings seemed wrong. But you can tell what it is.

Back on dry land it was off to the Scillonian Club for celebratory pints. Quality.

Thursday, 11 August 2011

Just so you know?

What have i done? Done some ringing, went to Wembley, Tatton flower Show and watched Batman Live at the M.E.N. Anyway there will definitely be an update early next week as I'm about to set off to the Isles of Scilly for 3 days. hopefully we will be catching up with Wilson's Storm Petrel and other goodies with all day pelagic's booked for Saturday and Sunday. Bon voyage.