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Friday, 9 September 2011



WILSON'S PETREL no.5 4 miles south of St Mary's Joe Pender

  The Juvenile PECTORAL SANDPIPER was favouring the SE corner of Porth Hellick Pool with the juvenile Dunlin this morning and then a quick look from control tower, through the fog, I could just make out the 3 BUFF-BREASTED SANDPIPER on the airfield. The adult Golden Plover was also present. 
  At Trenowth there were 3 Blackcap with a single Garden Warbler and an unusual sighting was a Ruff feeding with 50+Sanderling on Porthloo Beach.

Juvenile PECTORAL SANDPIPER at Porth Hellick

  What came next? Oh yeh, the pelagic. Oh dear! I've been on Pelagics before, from my first in '98, when I saw my first Wilson's Petrel, to my last in '03, when I saw 2 Wilson's Petrel. As there was no flying, due to the fog, I finished work an hour early and just before 16.00, I was rushing down to the quay. Here I joined the MV Sapphire along with Higgo, Ren and Jamsie, Chris, Robin, Big Al, Jim, Paul Whitaker, 3 visitors and the skipper Joe. We set off into the mist and and there was a great atmosphere. As we were leaving Morning Point, Garrison, 2 1st winter Mediterranean Gull started feeding on the bread that Higgo was throwing out at the back of the boat. We had gone two miles south and Higgo shouted 'WILSON'S' When I looked, all I could see was a bloody Storm Petrel. It's getting late in the year for Wilson's and that was probably mine and the others chance of seeing one. Well that's what we thought. By now a Great Skua was showing well, but not as well as the adult SABINE'S GULL that Higgo spotted. This was followed by a close fly by Sooty Shearwater. The Sabs Gull hung around with us for the rest of the evening!

Just leaving St Mary's Quay

Joe Pender

The first adult SABINE'S GULL that stayed with us throughout the evening

One of the many Storm Petrel seen on the trip Robin Mawer

2 Great Skua came in

Up to 10 Manx Shearwater flew by

  We were 4 miles south of St Mary's and began to drift east. A few more Storm Petrel moved through, feeding in the slick, and then there was another shout from Higgo 'WILSONS' This time I got it, although briefly, inbetween the waves before it disappeared. We had only been out for 2 hours and I didn't care if we didn't see anything else. Then it kicked in. I started to feel sick and made my way gently to the side. 'I feel sick' There was a cheer 'HOORAY' A? I thought 'No, I'm going to be sick' Again 'HOORAY' They all cheered when they knew I felt sick, Higgo being the loundest. Then there was another shout for our third WILSON'S PETREL. This one showed a lot better, but I was not feeling 100% to really enjoy it. Another Great Skua and Sooty Shearwater passed through and then Ren said 'There's 2 adult SABINE'S GULLS' A very smart looking individual with full on hood had joined the other sab's and both performed superbly. Then I said 'petrel' and as I finished saying it, I could see that it was a Wilson's, but it was too late. Higgo was in there 'WILSON'S' Damn! I cursed. I was really begining to feel like shit and was leaning over the side. Everyone on board were egging me on to get on with it and seemed to be enjoying my torture. Then it happened and guess what followed? One almighty cheer with clapping and then laughing. I did not feel good and wanted to go home. Never again. I looked up and could see a petrel infront of me and said petral. Again as I said it, I could see the panels on the upperwings and knew it was another Wilson's. Ren got on to it and shouted 'It's a WILSON'S' God damn! I missed again, but this was our firth Wilson's Petrel and turned out to be the best performer! 4 Common Dolphins moved through and included one of them going under the boat a few times. Paul caught 2 Blue Sharks that were tagged and released.
  Again I threw up and again they all cheered. I looked to Joe 'Can we go home?' Higgo looked at me and said with a sly smile 'The boats broken down' And the response from him saying that was, another bloody cheer! 'If you think I'm falling for that' I replied. But it was true. The battery was flat and Paul Smith was on his way in the rib 'The Lightning' I just hoped that the rib lived up to it's name. Although I wasn't thinking straight, it doesn't take a genius to work out, that when the rib arrives, I can go back on it. Oh yes! Now I would have the last laugh. Some twenty minutes later (Lightning my ass!) I could hear the rib and out of the gloom, it came towards us. This time I cheered and punched my fist into the air. Yes, I'm going to be on dry land very soon. I waited patiently by the side as Joe threw the two batteries from the rib onto the Saphire. He then came back on board and just as I was ready to jump onto the rib, it moved away. 'where's he's going?'  Everyone cheered 'HOORAY' All these cheers were beginning to remind of  'Father Ted' The eposode when Ted is accused of being racist towards Chinese people. He has to prove that he's not racist, by having a slide show about Chinese people and then buying drinks for them in the pub. They started to like him and cheered whenever he said anything. 'The drinks are on me' 'HOORAY' I'm going to the toilet' 'HOORAY' 'Lets go back to my place' 'HOORAY' 'I've got mass tomorrow' BOOOO' Not really, I made the last one up. If you haven't seen it, then I suggest you do.

Father Ted being racist towards the Chinese. The part when he plays Hitler, is very funny

My salvation, so I thought. The Lightning ariving with Chris and Joe looking on

  Back on the hell boat, Chris resured me 'Paul will return. He's just pulled over to the side to make sure that Joe gets the motor started' 'Oh, that's ok then' Joe soon got it going and everyone cheered but nowhere near as lound as when Paul went past at high speed in the rib and disappeared into the fog. Higgo was pointing at me and at the same time could not stop laughing. This trip was feeling like hell! By now it was dark and Joe turned the boat around and headed towards St Mary's at snail pace. The last hour killed me as I threw up all the way back. NEVER AGAIN!


2 1st winter Mediterranean Gull
3 Sooty Shearwater
3 Great Skua
10 Manx Shearwater
20+Storm Petrel
2 Blue Shark

4 Common Dolphin

Top two Joe Pender

Both adult SABINE'S GULL fed just off the boat that you could of almost tounched them as they passed by! Robin Mawer 

The 2 SABINE'S GULLS were feeding together for most time


1 of the 4 Common Dolphins. This one went under the boat a few times 

Paul holding a Blue Shark with Bella looking on

Me throwing up I'm in hoddy leaning over the boat



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