Thursday 31 August 2023

Red-Footed Booby on Bishop Rock

                                            21st August 2023 :  Bishop Rock

                                            Isle of Scilly plus Scillonian Crossings  


1st summer Pale Morph Red-Footed Booby.

As the title of this blog states, on Monday 21st August i joined my birding pal RR on the Scillonian MV heading towards St. Mary's, Isle of Scilly and then on to the pelagic vessel the Sapphire out towards Bishop Rock.

Our target bird was the quite exceptional Red-Footed Booby which had been remarkably seen on one of the previous weeks Pelagic trips!!

It was refound by the same expert crew from the Sapphire roosting on the Bishop Rock lighthouse a few days later.

We arrived on St. Mary's at approx 12pm and then went straight onto the Sapphire and we then headed off towards the Bishop Rock lighthouse, there had been no news all morning if the Red-Footed Booby was still present or not ??!!

We eventually reached Bishop Rock and the holy grail was sat up high  on the mesh , a huge sigh of relief & joy throughout the boat as we all connected with this remarkable bird.
Here is a small selection of the photos i took of the Red-Footed Booby :

Having a preen

Reddish feet

Pinkish bill

Red-Footed Booby.

The captain of the Sapphire Joe Pender did a great job manoeuvring his boat to get us the best possible views for which i am very grateful.

Other birds seen from the Sapphire were several close Cory's Shearwater, 1 Great Shearwater & a possible Scopoli's Shearwater.

Here are a selection of Cory's Shearwater photo's :

Cory's Shearwater.

Here are a couple of photo's of the possible Scopoli's Shearwater (any opinions on this appreciated)  :

Possible Scopoli's Shearwater.

We had a great crossing both ways on the Scillonian where it was great to bump into Rafael Mitchell & Mark Dawson .

We saw 70+ Cory's Shearwaters, 2 Great Shearwaters, 3 Sooty Shearwaters, 1 Balearic Shearwater, 100's of Manx Shearwaters, 25+ Storm Petrels, 1 Arctic Skua & 1 Adult Long Tailed Skua.

We also saw a Risso's Dolphin & several Common Dolphins from the Scillonian plus a Sunfish & several Grey Seals  from the Sapphire.

Manx Shearwater.

Manx Shearwater.

Long Tailed Skua photo by Mark Dawson.

Long Tailed Skua Photo by Mark Dawson.

Many thanks to Mark Dawson for allowing me to use his superb photos of the Long Tailed Skua on my blog.



Saturday 19 August 2023

New Bird for my Kent List...........At Last !!!

                                         14th August 2023 ; Isle of Sheppey

                                              Raptor Watch Point at Capel

1st summer Black Stork.

 A Black Stork  had been seen the previous week in the Sandwich area (which i dipped twice) & also seen again flying over my home town on Sunday 13th when i was elsewhere visiting family made me think i am not destined to see this bird.

However that all changed on Monday morning the 14th August as news came through the Black Stork had been seen again at Capel on the Isle of Sheppey !!!!

When it was established it had settled in a cut field i made the decision to head for there thinking that it will no doubt fly off again before i get there !!

I eventually arrived in the Raptor watch point car park where there was only 5 other cars & no birders to be seen , i finally had chance to read my messages and followed the instructions and joined my fellow birders and set my eyes on this wonderful Black Stork !!!

This Black Stork is a very welcome addition to my Kent Bird List.

Here are a selection of photos i took :

Being mobbed

Black Stork.

Many thanks to the farmer who allowed us all unlimited access to view the Black Stork.

Wednesday 9 August 2023

New Bird for my Oare Marsh Bird List

                                                 2nd August 2023 ;  Oare Marshes.


Pectoral Sandpiper.

I received a phone call from my birding pal Richard informing me that Murray had just found a Pectoral Sandpiper roosting with Redshanks on one of the Islands near the road , so without haste i grabbed my birding gear and headed to Oare Marshes.

I followed Geoff Burton along the entrance road and we duly arrived together to hear the news ,'' It's just flown out of sight'', don't you just love that phrase !!!!

We were assured it hadn't flown off completely and therefore the search to relocate it had begun , some 45 minutes later still no sign !!!

Pectoral Sandpiper with Redshank.

A dustbin lorry went past the pull-in disturbing everything & did the same on it's return journey, hopefully this would help us re find the Pec !!

We continued to search the area and then thankfully Murray refound the Pectoral Sandpiper in front of the Cormorant Island .

What a relief , some really great views through the scope and i happily added this smart wader to my OMLL , great find Murray !!

Pectoral Sandpiper.

The Bonaparte's Gull is now starting to moult and as of last Saturday (5th) it look like this.

Moulting around the face

Grey nape.

Bonaparte's Gull.