Scillonian Pelagic August 10th 2008

Posted by Admin on August 12, 2008
Filed under Trip Reports

I was hoping to do a pelagic this year but with no Scillonian pelagic my options were reduced to a costly trip to the Scillies. Fortunately an excersion was offered on the Scillonian III, the first trip in a few years. It was a bit rough for me but the rewards came in the form of a good haul of sea birds attracted to our two chumming point, one of which was the "Pole Bank" where the Scillies charter sails out to, the other site was 60 miles south west, 30 miles short of the Wilson's Triangle. Species recorded on the trip were 2 Cory's Shearwater, 2 Great Shearwater, 1 Sooty Shearwater, 1 Grey Phalarope, 1 Arctic Skua, 4 Great Skua, 300 Storm Petrel and 20 Manx Shearwater. Sadly no Wilsons Petrels were seen.

Good numbers of Storm Petrel came into the chumming areas, perhaps 300 seen in total. Up 14 followed the boat for much of the return to Penzance.

This Arctic Skua came into the back of the boat a few times whilst chumming. There was a claim of a second skua that looked to be a Long-tailed but I photographed both birds which turned out to be this same Arctic Skua.

Plenty of Fulmars seen throughout the trip. The Fulmars came in close to the boat but with so many other targets they were neglected. I was surprised to see how few shots I had got.

Gannets were another common species seen on the trip. It was great to see these birds as they folded their wings back and plunged into the water. They were also quite tame riding the thermals coming off the boat giving great views.

Two Great Shearwaters came into our second chumming area and delighted many birders on board giving often excellant views as they fed on the fish remains being thrown overboard.

This is Bishop Rock lighthouse viewable from the Pole Bank chumming area. Bishop Rock lighthouse is situated 4 miles west of the Isles of Scilly and is built on a ledge of rock just 46 metres by 16 metres.