Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Early bird

I was on deck at 06:00 this morning with dawn fast approaching. A smallish dark bird made me jump when it exploded out of its' hiding place between packing crates and flew out of sight to the heli-deck. With a racing pulse I quickly got to a better vantage point in the hope of a 'goody', only to find that I had flushed a starling! Not the most attractive of birds at that hour but 'trip tick' No. 8. To be honest after a week at sea only 8 bird species is rather pathetic even by my own standards. Things must improve- surely?

Anyway the sun came up and so did the Cory's again- I counted at least 18 today. Have been checking them closely when feasible- which has not been often, in the off chance that one or more of them are the fabled 'Scopoli's shearwater', which apparently is thought to be a species in its' own right by some, although often treated as a race of Cory's by most. I just don't think I could separate them in the field if I am totally honest, as the finer points of the I/D criteria would need pretty good views! Anyway, other than that there was little else to blog about other than a handful of LBB & YL gulls. Highlight of the late evening was a distant, juvenile Great skua which appeared to be moulting and looked decidedly manky. Still, it's a decent bird for here it would seem.  Still not seen a single cetacean.

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