A special place... The Isles of Scilly are one of only two places in England where Manx Shearwaters breed
Under threat...The Isles of Scilly hold 3,000 fewer pairs of breeding seabirds than 25 years ago
We need YOUR help to protect our important seabird heritage
On a calm sea and in pleasant conditions, our outward sailing produced a few interesting sightings. A single Sooty Shearwater, 3 Manx Shearwaters, 1 Guillemot, 1 Fulmar and 155 Gannets were seen up to Wolf Rock.
Unusually very few gulls etc. were roosting on St Clement's Island Mousehole, but 120+ gulls mostly Herring Gull were on the Zawn Organ and Tater-du cliff faces. We also saw 7 distant unidentifiable Dolphins and a Harbour Porpoise.
Between Wolf and St Marys we had an excellent close view of 2 resting Sooty Shearwaters taking off from next to the ship. Nearby 25 Gannets dived amongst presumably a feeding Common Dolphin pod of which only one leapt out. Also seen were 10 Manx Shearwaters, another 30 Gannets, 3 Sandwich Tern, 4 Great Black backed Gulls and 5 migrating Meadow Pipits.
2 Seals were well away from the coasts.
The afternoons again calm return trip was much more exciting due to more diverse numbers of seabird and cetaceans species.
Between the Isles and Wolf Lighthouse we saw 2 Great Skuas, 2 Storm Petrels, 13 Manx Shearwaters, 67 Gannets, 2 Herring Gulls, 2 Fulmar, 3 GBB Gulls and 1 distant Auk.
A pod of 15+ Harbour Porpoise accompanied by at least 2 Common Dolphins frantically fed with 26 Gannets in attendance.
The highlight was a Minke Whale. A bit later another Minke sighting, again straight alongside Scillonian about the same distance off. According to David's later research, Watson's "Whales of the World" states Minke Whales are fast swimmers at 13 to 16 Knots which probably means it could keep up with or slightly exceed Scillonian's speed, but possibly 2 Minke cannot be ruled out.
From Wolf it continued to be interesting with 79 Gannets, 8 Manx Shearwaters, 5 Sooty Shearwaters, 1 Balearic Shearwater, 2 Fulmar and 4 auks. Almost back to Penzance the excitement level rose again as 5 Risso Dolphins passed close either side of Scillonian with their very tall dorsal fins prominent.
On both outward and return journeys it was noticeable to me that very few birds were passing the usually busiest sea area off the Porthgwarra headland. In fact there appeared to not be any general direction of sea bird movements throughout todays voyages.