Friday, 31 July 2009

NEWT/NTBC Pelagic (31 July)

Last night's weather conditions were an improvement on last week with only the occasional patch of light rain in a brisk southerly breeze. Later as coud cover came over from the west the light deteriorated rapidly making both viewing and photographing conditions poor.

The first noticeable difference was the increase in adult Lesser Black-backed Gull, last week we had one in attendance, this week several (5+) kept us company most of the night, occasionally coming close enough to pose.
Lesser Black-backed Gull, adult.
The other major difference tonight was in Manx Shearwater numbers with some 60-70 seen over the night including a couple of big groups 15-20 that moved across the wake. None came in to the boat, which MK and I agreed was typical at least in the North Sea of this species. Most were some distance out so beyond the reach of my lens. The two images below are the best of the evening for me, identifiable but not as good as I would have liked.

Manx Shearwater.

With the absence of cetaceans continuing there's not much else to tell. This very dark juvenile Lesser Black-backed Gull stirred things up once or twice. At a distance it looked almost black and even the boat captain called it as a 'Skua' at one point albeit with the naked eye. In poor light at a distance it followed us for a good while shiftinga round in the melee of gulls behind the boat, popping up here and there dark enough to make you mentally jump and then realise it was the gull again.
Lesser Black-backed Gull.
So it's on to next week and now two boats with the demand high, there would appear to be a big Durham contingent next week including Ross Ahmed so no shortage of experience, it might even prompt a blog post from him?


Stewart said...

Seems a lot of effort for some Manx and LBBGs Alan, lets hope you get the biggie next week...when you find the North Sea Wilson's Triangle put my name down, I'll get the Stugeron ready...meanwhile the scope points seaward.

Alan Tilmouth said...

I live in hope.