Species of the trip has to be the Wilson's Petrel seen on Sunday 11th August. Bird of the trip though was probably this Great Shearwater which flew around the boat in good light and allowed a close approach thanks to some careful skippering by Joe Pender.
|Difficult to get a sharp flight shot from a moving boat despite plenty of opportunity
|This shot shows how the wing does actually shear the water
|Shearwaters are meant to be seen in flight, but it was still good to get close to one sat on the sea
|Note the pink legs which can be seen under the water
|Manx Shearwater - by far the commonest Shearwater encountered...
|...Sooty Shearwaters were seen in small numbers, this one banking to reveal the silvery underwing...
|...and Balearic Shearwater, taking off to reveal the typical pot-bellied profile
|This Balearic was with a raft of Manxies just off St Mary's one evening
|A Manx taking off from the same raft
|And a Sooty in amongst the Manxies
|Great Skuas - a.k.a. 'Bonxies' - were seen fairly regularly
|A bulky presence
|Unfortunately this much rarer Pomarine Skua was almost past us before I got the camera on it - the 'spoon' on the tail can just be seen though
|Gannets often followed the Sapphire, especially when we dragged a bag of fish guts along behind
|They would typically announce their arrival with a raucous call before stalling and plunge diving into the wake
|Gannets of all ages and plumages were seen
|Fulmar - another tubenose, this one sporting the snot-nosed look to good effect
|Fulmars were often alongside or following the boat
|Great Black-backed Gulls were usually present among the larger flocks, although...
|Lesser Black-backed Gulls were the commonest gull following the boat
|Kittiwakes often followed the boat, most showing signs of moult and not at their usual smart best
|Storm Petrels are closely related to Shearwaters...
|..but much harder to photograph due to their small size and rapid, bat-like flight.