Pelagic I – Saturday 1st August 09

The first north coast Pelagic off Cornwall this morning saw twelve of the counties birders leaving St Ives at 5am in search of Wilson’s Petrel. There have been sightings from boats off Padstow of Wilson’s this year and last and this was our main reason for arranging a Pelagic today. As light broke our first bird appeared in the form of a Balearic Shearwater, followed soon after by a European Storm-petrel. The engine was cut at about 7 mile NW of St Ives and the ‘chum’ put overboard. Within minutes the backof the boat was awash with European Storm Petrels and Fulmars. At about 07.20hrs a slightly larger Petrel appeared from the east of the boat and the shout went up, “WILSONS!” Eventually two Wilson’s Storm-petrels showed superbly down to approximately 30m. They were seen again on two further occasions slightly further away. Other birds of note were Arctic Skua (2), Manx Shearwater (numerous), Balearic Shearwater (2 more), Arctic Tern (3), Common Tern, Puffin (3), large shearwter sp. and Med Gull. As we entered the quieter waters of St Ives bay on our return, we paused to throw off the rest of the ‘chum’ and were rewarded with close views of two Risso’s Dolphins and an Ocean Sunfish!

A great morning providing more evidence of Wilson’s Petrel in north cornish waters. Thanks to all who joined us aboard and especially to Royston who did a sterling job with the chum! For further photos and an alternative trip report see Steve Rogers Blog HERE

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