Our first all day seabird pelagic went out from Falmouth on Sunday 24th June on AK Wildlife Cruises boat ‘Free Spirit’. It was a bit of an experimental trip due to the early date and our new ‘chum’ mixture!! The weather wasn’t particularly helpful either with a strong westerly wind blowing, but our skilled captain kept us within the shelter of the Lizard and we laid down a superb oily slick that soon pulled in the birds.
The trip down the coast from Falmouth to the Lizard was also full of birds with stop off at known Peregrine sites giving close views of adults and recently fledged juveniles. Breeding birds included Fulmars, Cormorants and a single pair of Lesser Black-backed Gulls. A pair of Choughs also performed for those on board as we got closer to Black Head and a single Basking Shark showed briefly to two lucky observers!
After a quick stop for a hot drink provided by the very skilled crew the rest of the trip was spent zig-zagging along our oily slick that was laid about a half mile out to sea. This attracted at least 10 European Storm Petrels that gave some really close fly-pasts and a dark phase Arctic Skua swung by the back of the boat, no doubt attracted by the mass of Herring, Great-black Backed and Lesser Black Backed Gulls, Fulmars and Kittiwakes.
Manx Shearwaters were also seen constantly on the horizon and some much closer. Everyone on board was amazed by the seabird spectacle at this early time of year! Our next trip is on Sunday 21st July and we already have bookings leaving just 6 places left, so book early to avoid disappointment! July can be a very good month for seabirds. In July 2011 a total of 1299 Cory’s Shearwaters were seen, so you never know!! See HERE for details and booking.