Saturday, 12 August 2017

Scilly Pelagic no 3 - a Wilson's Petrel moment!

There was no doubt in anyone's mind which bird was the star of the day. A very showy Wilson's Storm Petrel stayed with us for quite some time. The light was very changeable and had a big impact on image quality not to mention colour balance! They are easy to pick up on size difference, flight habit and general appearance, covert band / log legs etc. The first two pics show the 'chalk and cheese' differences quite nicely?




The classic Wilson's moment, a bit distant but you can only take what you're presented with!




Although they were into the light, another nice Wilson's attribute is the yellow webbing on the feet...




A final selection from 100's of images. The glide...


The wavetop launch...


The paddle...

And the moment I'd been waiting for over the past few years!


Is it mission accomplished? Not a chance, more/better of the same and that mega we are all hoping for!!

Scilly Pelagic no 3 - Cory's spectacular!

An estimated 150 Cory's Shearwater encounters for today so no shortage of image opportunities! A question of keeping stable in the 1.5m swell, tracking them and hoping keep locked on. I think everyone ended up with hundreds of images and it's harder to select a few than post the whole lot which caught my eye. So enjoy this lot without getting shaken and stirred...

Steaming out, it was crazy, not knowing which way to look at times and so nice to see them against the land!

But this is their element and despite a mere mph north westerly plenty of deep troughs to shear through...




Looping up against the occasional break in the clouds!




They seem to offer upperwing views less frequently




Back down in the troughs...




And an optical illusion near miss!




As the day wore on, the light improved no end!






Seabirds must be the only subjects which look just as good flying away from you!




And to finish, a sight one rarely encounters? An obliging Cory's sat by the boat!!


But I'm always a sucker for the moment they approach head on, there isn't a finer sight than this...


Coming next.... Great Shearwaters aplenty!



Scilly Pelagic no 3 - Great Shearwaters

The banner on my twitter page has been occupied by a Great Shearwater for the past two years! I'm loathe to change the 'head on' shot which constantly reminds me why August and the open sea off the Isles of Scilly is where I want to be! Despite losing out to Cory's in the counts today, you couldn't fail to be in awe of the 90 birds which came our way. Here's some moments from todays amazing Great Shearwater show...

From my limited experience you seem far more likely to encounter them on the water than Cory's!


Maybe preening?


Or just loafing around...


 But sooner or later, they'll be off!






Majestic and effortless flight...






And my favourite moment - picking out one which looks as though it might make a close pass? Will it, wont it?


Yeeesssss, it will!


This (to me) is what pelagic birding is all about :-)




 Next up, largely ignored, a few Manxies...


















Scilly pelagic no 3 - Sooty Show!!

It's easy to get carried away with concentrating on the BIG three target birds and whilst Sooty Shearwaters are usually 'around', they can be a bit standoffish? Today however, one or two showed really well!  So to pay tribute, here's a dedicated post...

Just clipping the water on the big dipper swell?


Or climbing the stairs?


Maybe having a rest!


Then off for more action...









A separate fly-by in duller conditions...




And finally, banking back down to the waves. Despite the name its not a 'black' Shearwater at all but an attractive seabird indeed!