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
As we waited to depart a smart male Common Eider and a Razorbill were diving close to the ship.
The moderate wind was south-westerly and the visibility good. Between Penzance and Wolf Rock we saw 123 Gannets, 1 Sooty Shearwater, 1 close Grey Phalarope, 3 Balearic Shearwaters, 1 Great Skua, 4 Common Scoter and 30 auks mainly Razorbills.
After Wolf Rock bird numbers reduced, as is usually the case. 16 Gannets, 17 auks, along with another Grey Phalarope and a single Manx Shearwater. The Scillonian made 3 resting Great Skuas take off and show well their plumage details. The sea state 3-4 made it difficult but 3 Harbour Porpoise were briefly visible in a hollow in the waves. Nearing the Scillies an interestingly plumaged Pomarine Skua crossed ahead of us.
The return trip was calmer and produced 41 gannets including 10 around a distant trawler with a probable Skua attending.
2 Balearic Shearwaters were welcome, but they were only a very small fraction of the big numbers observed passing the south west the previous day. 2 Arctic and 1 Great Skua were seen heading south west. A single Manx Shearwater, the only Fulmar of the day, 4 auks and low numbers of Great Black-backed Gulls completed the list up to Wolf Rock.
From Wolf we observed 1 Balearic and 6 Manx Shearwaters, 92 Gannets, the only 2 Kittiwakes of the trip, 7 auks and low numbers of black-backed gulls.
Only 1 Fulmar and no Kittiwakes were observed.