Zino's Petrel off Madeira - June 2018

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Sunday, 6 August 2017

Pendeen & Penzance Pelagic, Cornwall 5/8/17

After a very long and tiring week at work with numerous reports of rare seabirds in the SW, I took the plunge on Friday night after two hours sleep and little notice and preparation to head down to Pendeen Watchpoint, taking only 5 hours from home to Pendeen!!. The wind direction was good but perhaps not strong enough and with no weather fronts knocking about I knew it wasn't going to be a classic, however it was great to be down there despite a slow seawatch.

The morning was dominated by thousands upon thousands of Manx Shearwaters with numbers in the region of 25000 birds. The only large Shear passed early on and by early afternoon all passage had dropped considerably, so I decided to book myself on a pelagic trip from Penzance Harbour where the effort of driving down was made worth it.

Pendeen 05.40 - 14.40 NW 17mph gusting 24mph - Clear

Manx Shearwater - ca. 30,000
Common Scoter - 548 (a Pendeen day record!!)
Balearic Shearwater - 7
Storm-Petrel - 2
Sooty Shearwater - 6
Cory's Shearwater - 1
Great Skua - 1
Scaup - 1 drk close in with Common Scoter
Puffin - 2
Arctic Skua - 3
Sandwich Tern - 18
Chough - 2

 the view from Pendeen Watchpoint

Chough at Pendeen

The pelagic on board The Mermaid from Penzance Harbour was superb with thousands of birds seen, again mainly Manx Shearwaters but this time more large Shears were present, and a few Cetaceans also made several appearances. The Manxies had formed large feeding flocks roughly 3 miles off Porthgwarra. An oil slick was created and this attracted a nice number of Storm-Petrels. However, it was pretty choppy but thankfully my Antarctic training meant I was left feeling good for the duration..

Penzance Pelagic - 5pm - 9.30pm

Great Shearwater - 15
Sooty Shearwater - 20
European Storm Petrel - 20
Manx Shearwater - ca. 2000

Minke Whale - 1 (surfaced 6-8 times)
Common Dolphin - 20

 a great combo - Storm Petrel and Manx Shearwater
 a small part of the feeding flock
 Great Shearwater
 Great Shearwater
 Great Shearwater
 Sooty Shearwater alongside a Manx
 Sooty Shearwater

European Storm-Petrels

Manx Shearwaters
Common Dolphin
Minke Whale
sunset and Lands End

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