Monday, 28 October 2013

Pelagic - 9.10.13

Great Skua and Jack Snipe. Thanks to Brendan Fagan for his pics.
With the islands being quiet birdwise I (foolishly) agreed to join the lads on the mini pelagic around the islands and out towards Seven Stones. I felt ok for the first 45 minutes but as we got out of the protection of the land it became a bit choppier and I turned a bit greener! The first bird of the day was the winter plumaged Red-Necked Grebe in Crow Sound which was my first for a few years. Next bird of note was a Puffin just off our side of the boat and then a Razorbill flew past. Once one of the crew had started throwing bits of bread and fish overboard the gulls appeared shortly followed by the first of at least 10 Great Skua for the trip. By this time I was regretting going on board as I was feeling rather ill. But thankfully most of those on board felt ok and managed to pick up a few good birds which I lifted the bins to look at! These included 4 Manx Shearwater, 4 Balearic Shearwater and a single Sooty Shearwater. Whilst we were drifting a kind soul on the boat decided to throw up into the wind and blowing his chunks all over the arm of my jacket which didn't really make me feel any better! On the way back to dry land a summer plumage Great Northern Diver flew past and the final bird of note was a 1st winter Yellow-Legged Gull. 6 year ticks in all but unless I'm guaranteed an albatross or tropicbird that will be the last pelagic I go on! On the walk back to my digs I stopped off at Lower Moors and after a bit of a wait the Jack Snipe walked into view and onto the year list.

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