Cornwall Birding/AK Wildlife Seabird Pelagic

Gannet (J.Irvine)

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.

Juvenile Peregrines (J.Irvine)

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!

Chough (J.Irvine)

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.

Storm Petrel (J.Irvine)

Arctic Skua (J.Irvine)

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.

Manx Shearwater (J.Irvine)

Fulmar (J.Irvine)

AK Wildlife Cruise

Saturday (22nd) saw AK Wildlife Cruise’s 6 hour trip from Falmouth cover 65 miles of sea with some great wildlife and birdwatching experiences! The photos below (all by Simon White) show some of the quality views you get from the boat! Our next joint trip will be on Sunday June 23rd at 10am, see our PELAGICS page for details and booking.

Carrick Roads and Helford River – Saturday 23rd March 2013

Our second trip of the year in conjunction with AK Wildlife Cruises takes place from 1100hrs on Saturday 23rd March 2013. We will travel up the Fal estuary into the Carrick Roads and explore some of the inaccessible (by road) areas of the Helford River in search of late Grebes and wildfowl and early migrants. Our main quarry will be Ospreys that are known to stop off in these areas en-route to their breeding grounds further north. Our last trip was extremely successful and you can read comments about it HERE. Go to the EVENTS/PELAGICS tab above for further details and to book.

Carrick Roads Trip

Sunday 3rd March saw the first of our trips aboard ‘Free Spirit’ with AK Wildlife Cruises. Despite the cold weather, the trip was very much enjoyed by all and the heated cabin was most welcome!! Highlights included  Black-necked Grebe (6), Red-breasted Merganser (27), Sandwich Tern, Med Gull (5), Common Scoter (5), poss. Red-necked Grebe (2), Common Gull, Ringed Plover (5), Greenshank and Peregrine. A total of 39 species was seen over the duration of the trip despite not being able to get ‘out to sea’ due to the weather!

Client Comments:  “Thanks for organising these trips. Just back from excellent trip today up the Fal. Really great boat, enthusiastic and knowledgeable crew, excellent company. Can’t wait to join future trips especially a pelagic”

“Just wanted to say thanks for organising this trip.It was excellent and worth the early morning start from Devon !! I am looking forward to future trips. Would very much commend comfort of boat and Keith’s enthusiasm and willingness to do his utmost to ensure a good trip”.

What  a great trip u have arranged along the Carrick roads this morning. It was excelent. The Free spirit is an ideal boat, and Captain Keith is a legend. He made every effort to get close to birds, even in shallow water. It was really good.”

“We had a great trip this morning with an initial sighting of a group of 5 Black-necked Grebes moulting into breeding plumage, a great sighting of a Peregrine and plenty of Red-breasted Mergansers. It was great to catch up with Keith and talk about the summer pelagics!”

THE NEXT TRIP IS SATURDAY 23rd MARCH 2013 – BOOK NOW TO AVOID DISAPPOINTMENT!!

The full list of species can be seen below: Continue reading

The Carrick Roads and Gerrans Bay – Sunday 3rd March 2013 (9am – 1pm)

**TRIP NOW FULL**

This is the very first of our Cornwall Birding/AK Wildlife Cruise trips into the Fal Estuary and beyond in the hope of some close encounters with nationally important numbers of Black-necked Grebes as well as Divers, Red-necked and Slavonian Grebes and Red-breasted Merganser. The Bay has recently held a long-tailed Duck and Velvet Scoter aswell as three species of Diver, Grebes and a host of other seabirds.

Cost is just £35 for four hours (in the comfort of a heated cosy cabin if you get too cold!) Contact us at pelagics@btinternet.com for information and to book or phone 07794559881.Black-necked Grebe (T.Mills)