Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Scarborough Birders Pelagic

Scarborough Birders Pelagic
Off Scarborough

For my second sea trip with Scarborough Birders, the weather, dry though fairly grey, not great for photography, but still better than the very wet weather forecasted, was still good enough for an excellent mini adventure on a Sunday morning. Setting sail on the local Queensferry boat, 22 to 24 hardy folk and a few tubs of extremely rank chum thanks to Nick and Mick set off in calm waters in hunt of rarities, general birdlife and the odd cetacean.

Various birdlife was seen including, HG, GBBG, LBBG, Fulmar, Kittiwake, Gannets, Razorbills, Guillemots, Puffins, Common Scoter, Manx Shearwater, Artic Tern, possible Sandwich Tern, with the star bird of the day being a Blue Fulmar, which stayed after a nervous start around the boat for a good while letting many many many photographs to be taken!!!!

There was not a great deal of luck on the mammal front and all were hopeful of a Minke Whale, but  brief glimpses of a Grey Seal and a couple of distant Harbour Porpoises showed that animals are out there and just a bit more luck is needed.

Once again many thanks for Scarborough Birders, Nick Addey for his organization and chum fermentation including making frozen chumcicles and Mick for having the guts to throw the guts!!! Cant wait for the next trip at the end of August.

Scarborough (a pretty damned good place to live, all within half an hour, the sea, the moors, the wolds and the forests)
Fulmars (up to 12 around the boat at one time and I was shocked at how un bothered by the overhanging photographers they were, indeed they came a bit to close!!!)

Fulmar and Blue Fulmar size comparison
Blue Fulmar (possibly from as far away as Baffin Island)


Common Scoters (North and South bound)

Gannets (buzzed the boat most of the morning but only a couple dived for the chum)

Herring Gulls (Plenty about and very very greedy, particularly the local harbour and marine drive residents). The Orange rings are from the local SBC tip ringing project.

Lesser Black Backed Gulls (Plenty around the boat most of the morning)
Manx Shearwater (long way away but a first for me, you cant beat being a beginner, a new tick every time!!)
Looking forward to the 31st August already, cheers to all involved.


Farne Island Adventure

Farne Island Adventure
05 and 06/07/2014
Our (me and the good lady wife Adele) trip started with an early start from Scarborough, at 5.00 am leaving us time to catch the full day bird watch with Billy Shiel boat trips, from Seahouses to Stapleand Inner Farne of the coast of Northumberland.
Arriving at Seahouses the weather was fair but poor, with the trip uncertain to take place, great after a 3 and a bit hour drive, but after a short wait, we were all aboard, with 30 other birders and tourists, on an open boat when the heavens opened with rain not really stopping until we got back.
The trip a was a bit of a disaster as Inner Farne was closed due to waterlogged Tern nests and the landing to Staple was aborted a couple of times due to the swell, but we did land eventually on the far side for around 1 1/2 hours which was just long enough to crawl over the slippery rocks to the Puffin colony so very worth while.
The boat tour company was excellent returning most of our money and thus we went on the Inner Farne tour the following day, again the weather was dull but still well worth the trip for the Artic and Common Terns plus the added bonus of the Bridled Tern which was awesome, though asleep when we docked and not seen after getting off the boat!!
My friendly Artic Tern, you have just got to love the Farne Islands!!!
Artic Terns

Common Tern
 Bridled Tern




Shags with chicks only a mother could love!!!!