Monday, 27 February 2012

Classic Cory's!

After a spot of lunch I resumed my watch on the aft deck. After 20 minutes or so a few gulls congregated over the towed gear, wheeling and dipping into the wave troughs. Suddenly a much more dashing bird fell into a wave trough in my line of sight, only to disappear before I could get my bins on it. It reappeared  further to my left, this time banking in a high arc over the wave crest showing white underwings with a dark border- shearwater sp.! Although I again lost the bird in the wave troughs for 10 or 15 seconds I eventually got my trusted Opticrons on it and immediately recognised it as a Cory's shearwater- brilliant! I watched the bird for a minute or so, trying to anticipate where it would reappear from behind the swell and wave crests. Amazingly it started shearing towards the ship so I even managed to shoot off a couple of frames- not startling images but considering the moving platform, distance and light I think they are good enough to show the I/D features. During the next two hours I counted a further 10 or 11 of these lovely birds. For me the sight of a large shearwater working its way in a stiff breeze through white-cap conditions epitomises what sea watching is all about! Happy days!

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