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
Friday 22nd July 2016 RSPB Scillonian III wildlife cruise.
Scillonian III departed on a fairly calm sea, with a full capacity of passengers. The wind started southerly but swung around to the west later.
Between Penzance and Wolf Rock we saw 2 Sandwich Terns, 3 Sooty Shearwater, 1 Cory's Shearwater which gave great close views, 235 Gannets, 348 Manx Shearwater and 10 Whimbrel, 2 Fulmar, 2 Kittiwake. As usual the main passenger excitement was seeing the cetaceans which were 7 Harbour Porpoise, 52 Common Dolphins and 6 Bottlenose Dolphins.
From Wolf Rock to St Mary's bird numbers reduced, as is usual, but quality did not. Observed were 1 Great Shearwater, 1 Cory's Shearwater, 1 Sooty Shearwater, 2 Storm Petrel, 2 Balearic Shearwater, 25 Manx Shearwater, 53 Gannet, 1 Guillemot and 1 Common Tern.
On our return sailing between St Mary's and Wolf an increase in bird numbers was immediately obvious. We started off with over 200 Manx Shearwaters congregating off Gugh. This was followed by 3 Great Shearwater, 2 Sooty Shearwater, 1 Cory's Shearwater, 1 Sandwich Tern, 1 Great Skua, 1 Puffin, another 59 Manx Shearwater, 200+ Gannets, 2 Kittiwake, 3 Terns, 3 Fulmar and 1 Sunfish.
From Wolf Rock to Penzancethe interest continued with 1 Cory's Shearwater, 7 Sooty Shearwater, 1 Great Skua, 1 Kittiwake, 148+ Gannets, 5 Fulmar and 2 Terns. There was a continuous westbound stream of Manx Shearwaters numbering at least 600, mainly close in to the cliffs. This was spiced with 11+ Common Dolphins and 6 Harbour Porpoise. Whilst docking, the now heavily moulted long staying male Eider was seen nearby.
Brian Craven (& Vivian Stratton)