Saturday, September 24, 2011

Autumn birds

First of all, please note my previous blog-entry regarding the dates for the next pelagics scheduled. Further dates can be arranged, we just have to have minimum 4 participants for the trips off Fuseta and at least 6 people to go out with the catamaran from Portimão.
The last trips have been all good, particularly regarding Great Shearwater (Puffinus gravis) which are exceptionally numerous in Algarvian waters this season. The birds are very obliging and we have always had extended, close views (up to two or three meters most times!). Ideal conditions for photography. In two cases we had to shift the dates for the trips for 1 or 2 days, because of weather/sea conditions.

Summary (trip-lists) of the last tours:

Fr., 23rd of September 2011
3h's (c. 8.00 to 11.00 a.m.) off Fuseta (east Algarve), no chumming.
Great Shearwater (Puffinus gravis) 21 Ind.+
Cory's Shearwater (Calonectris d. borealis) c. 10 Ind.
Scopoli's Shearwater (Calonectris d. diomedia) 1 Ind.*
Sooty Shearwater (Puffinus griseus) 1 Ind.
European Storm-Petrel (Hydrobates pelagicus) 2 Ind.
Northern Gannet (Morus bassanus) c. 20 + 80 Ind.(distant)
Great Skua (Stercorarius skua) 5 Ind.
Audouin's Gull (Larus audouinii) 3 Ind. (2 ad., 1 2nd W.) dune island
Slender-billed Gull (Larus genei) 1 Ind. (ad. W) when entering Ria F.
Common Tern (Sterna hirundo) 3 Ind. (juveniles)
* good views of the underwing in direct comparison to C.d.borealis close by the boat, bird also appearing slightly slimmer and paler when seen from above. A possible second Ind. could not be confirmed.

Fr., 16th of September 2011
7 h's trip off Portimão (c. 7.30 - 14.30), chumming.
Great Shearwater (Puffinus gravis) c. 45 Ind.
Cory's Shearwater (Calonectris d. borealis) c. 40 Ind.
Balearic Shearwater (Puffinus mauretanicus) 1 Ind.
Wilson's Storm Petrel (Oceanites oceanicus) 26 Ind. close to boat
European Storm Petrel (Hydrobates pelagicus) c. 150 Ind.*
Northern Gannet (Morus bassanus) 50+ Ind.
Great Skua (Stercorarius skua) 6 Ind.
Common Tern (Sterna hirundo) 2 Ind. (ad.)
Sandwich Tern (Sterna sandvicensis) 2 Ind.
Common Dolphin (Delphinus delphis) 100 Ind.+, some next to boat
* Between 6 and 8 miles we found dense flocks of swimming Petrels, one of about 100 birds and one of about 50 birds when going out. On the way back we had one of about 70 birds. The bigger flock consisted solely of Europ. Storm Petrels apparently, the others of both species, but they did not allow us to come close. These are probably "day-roosts", because the birds are known to be feeding at night.

Monday, 12th of September 2011

3 h's off Fuseta, no chumming
Great Shearwater (Puffinus gravis) 9 Ind.
Cory's Shearwater (Calonectris d. borealis) c. 10 - 15 Ind.
Balearic Shearwater (Puffinus mauretanicus) 10 Ind.
Wilson's Storm Petrel (Oceanites oceanicus) 2 Ind.
European Storm-Petrel (Hydrobates pelagicus) c. 25 Ind.
Northern Gannet (Morus bassanus) c. 20 Ind.
Great Skua (Stercorarius skua) 1 Ind.
Audouin's Gull (Larus audouinii) 2 Ind.
Common Tern (Sterna hirundo) 1 Ind.

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