Saturday, 8 August 2015

Scilly Pelagics - Day 2 - 7th August 2015

 My first full day on the island saw a relatively lazy start. I didn't get much sleep as I was up early checking my moth trap (25 species caught including a few southern specialities e.g. Marbled Coronet, Marbled Green, Bloxworth Snout and a few migrant Rush Veneer, Rusty Dot Pearl and a Diamond back Moth.) I enjoyed ridiculous views of a Song Thrush that was eating snails on my window ledge that I had to step back from to get a photo.
I wandered to Porth Hellick to look for the Pectoral Sand, but with the exception of 2 Green Sandpiper, Common Sandpiper and a few Greenshank, it was very quiet.
The rain was horrendous so I had a rather relaxed afternoon mainly drying off and hoping that it would clear in time for the evening pelagic.
 The rain did clear and I actually had to take my jumper off on the boat as it was so warm. With easterlies forecast, my expectations weren't too high, but we managed to find a flock of Manxies that allowed us to get nice and close as they sat on the water and I was really happy with the photos I got

 It a species that's always been close to my heart and was finally able to get photos I'm happy with
 We managed to find another Dolphin and Gannet feeding flock and we were able to bring in a handful of stormies, Bonxies and a single Arctic Skua. Two Common Tern fed really surprisingly close to the boat which allowed great views out to sea.

 We caught a lot of Pollock and two Cod which we used for their livers to bring in the stormies and boy did it work! We had about 50 around the boat and some came incredibly close! They are so agile, small and fast and a complete nightmare to photograph, so the above and below photos are the only two in a collection of blurry empty sea, bits of wing, out of focus smudges and splashes where a storm petrel once was. The light was atrocious too so I'm really happy with my two photos.

The last good 'new' bird for the pelagic was a Sooty Shearwater which made a distant 'U' shaped flight around the stern of the boat allowing for more realistic field views.

A much quieter pelagic, but the views of Stormies and Manxies, coupled with the addition of Scott, Alex and Steff made for a thoroughly enjoyable trip. I heart Scilly!

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