Saturday, August 9, 2014

seawatching at last!

Seawatching season normally starts at the beginning of July. Typically, this is when we'd get the first strong south-westerly blow of the "autumn". Only not this year. There's been very little sign of any south-westerlies to date, and when there has been, I've been busy elsewhere!

So, having been avidly refreshing windfinder all week, and trying to juggle somewhere to stash the kids, I eagerly bounced out of bed at 5.30 this am to check that the wind was the promised South-westerly force 5. First impressions was that it was actually South-easterly force 2, but by now I was awake so I headed up to Galley anyway.

2 hours later, and apart from a showy fin whale, I'd only managed 2 arctic skuas, 2 sooty shearwaters and a common scoter. Pants!

Fast forward 5 hours and things were looking better - the wind had picked up, cloud was beginning to build up so I hoofed back up to Galley to give it another lash. After a couple of minutes, a nice close-in cory's shearwater ambled past - excellent! Soon after, a distant great shearwater tried to sneak west without being noticed. For the next hour or so, big shears slowly sailed by every few minutes - not as dramatic as the big push last year, but really good to get to grips with them again after such a slow start to the seawatching season. Finished up after 3 hours, with the following tally:

cory's shearwater - 38
great shearwater - 20
sooty shearwater - 14
storm petrel - 30
bonxie - 2
puffin - 11

Happy days!

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