Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Celtic Deep & Grassholm

We went out to the Celtic Deep yesterday to carry out a release of shearwaters as part of the Oxford Navigation Group's ongoing research into how these wonderful birds navigate when out of sight of land.

Calm water made for good conditions for spotting birds and wildlife. Cetacean highlights were at least one adult Minke Whale (quite probably two) and a calf, around 16 miles SW of Skomer, plus a pod of dolphins nearer Grassholm.

We saw at least 8 Storm Petrels, most of which were fairly distant and making their way somewhere else pretty directly, but one of which fed closer to the boat.

Fantastic views of Manxies, with rafts of birds scattered around.

And the most bizarre sight was a Razorbill which decided to fly back and forth across our bow (whilst we were going at c.18kts) for well over 5 minutes!

On Grassholm, the most interesting thing was what appears to be a new satellite breeding site for Gannets and Guillemots directly above South Tumb. Only around 60 Gannets, many of which may be loafers, but definitely some new nests away from the main colony.