Friday, 19 August 2016

Pelagic - Great Shearwater

I joined the Mid Pembs and Pembrokeshire Bird Group Pelagic aboard the Celtic Wildcat yesterday on a rare day of calm conditions out at sea. Although a bit choppy on the way out once past Grassholm the sea calmed down and further out it was like the proverbial mill pond. Grassholm provided the usual spectacular wildlife spectacle with c.40000 pairs plus young. Interesting to see a few of the first Gannet youngsters on the sea looking bewildered.

Early afternoon we caught up with a trawler which had a huge number of Gulls and Gannets following it. Amongst them was the avian highlight of the day - a Great Shearwater which, at first elusive, showed excellently even settling in front of the Wildcat 3 times for a photo shoot. Several Storm Petrels were nearby at this point and during the day we saw 25 plus. Also plenty of Manxies out at sea, a few Guillemot adults with their offspring and just 2 Pufflings.

Common Dolphins were encountered in pods of varying sizes - probably 120 plus and 6 Porpoises were seen between Skokholm and St Ann's Head on the way back in.

A big thanks to Lyndon Lomax for organising the trip and to skipper Nick O'Sullivan for getting us out and back safely and comfortably.

Click on the photo above to link to a gallery of some of the day's highlights.