Monday, July 11, 2011
Pelagic of today
Audouin's Gulls (Larus audouinii) where very obliging
Time: 7.15 to 10.30 a.m.
Location: 6 miles off Fuzeta (East Algarve)
Conditions: Sunny, 18 to 25 C, hardly any wind (SW before), sea plain, low tide, no chumming.
Cory's Shearwater (Calonectris diomedia borealis) c. 30 Ind.
Balearic Shearwater (Puffinus mauretanicus) 3 -4 Ind., close
Sooty Shearwater (Puffinus griseus) 1 Ind., good views
Wilson's Storm Petrel (Oceanites oceanicus) c. 25 Ind.
European Storm Petrel (Hydrobates pelagicus) None ! (unusual)
Northern Gannet (Morus bassanus) c. 20 Ind in total
Great Skua (Stercorarius skua) 4-5 Ind., all juv. or 2nd cy
Audouin's Gull (Larus audouinii) up to 4 Ind together
Sandwich Tern (Sterna sandvicensis) 1 Ind. (ad.)
Little Tern (Sterna albifrons) 1 Ind.
Wilson's ' showing a "light sheen" in the underwing, but never any white...
Sometimes can resemble Leach's Storm Petrel (slightly forked tail, pale band in the upperwing) but note that the silvery upperwing-band never reaches the carpal joint, the feet projecting the tail and (not visible) the obvious difference in size...
A very successful trip regarding Wilson's Storm Petrel, the main target, which we had around two trawlers mainly (3 or 4 birds at the first- and at least 16 Ind. together around the second fishing boat, when taking in the net). We watched them under ideal conditions and at very close distances (often less than 3 m !) when they were circling around the boats and also when foraging in the typical "Petrel-manner", touching the water with their yellow-webbed feet...
Most bird showed heavy primary-moult, the three outer primaries retaining. It was the first time I did not see any European Storm Petrel, when seeing good numbers of Wilson's-, no idea, why so.
On the way back we spotted splashing "Dolphins" but when we approached, they dived and we did not see any more of them. One participant saw a Flying fish.
A nice morning and good trip in the opinion of the participants. I am hoping for some good pictures, though I learned that photographing this quick and little "targets" at close distances is not an easy task and perhaps a 500mm lens is not the ideal tool to bring in this case. The record-shots I include here are made with a digital compact-camera (4x optical zoom) ;P ...
Great Skua (Stercorarius skua)