The Safari was out on the high seas on Saturday looking for cetaceans and seabirds for MARINElife
The morning was stunningly clear but cold. The rising tide roughened the water far more than this pic, looking straight over the bow to the hills of the Lake District, shows.Looking back towards Blackpool from the outer limits of the River Wyre.
Over all we saw just about 4000 birds, most of which where associated with bait balls of fish or the massive raft of auks, mostly Guillemots. Unfortunately the ship moves too quickly to be able to scope through them for any Puffins. Plenty of Razorbills too but easily outnumbered by the Guillemots.
The biggest bait ball was tooo far from the ship to be counted but had many hundreds of birds, Kittiwakes and Gannets mostly, in attendance and was pulling in more from all angles including a Black Tern (181) which passed in front of the boat. The first on the starboard side had three - yes three - Great Skuas, as we passed the flock there could well have been another two but we couldn't be positive they weren't ones we'd already counted.
This bait ball also had the first of our Bottle Nosed Dolphins, three of them very difficult to see. We think they had herded the fish to the surface and were picking them off from underneath and barely breaking the surface. In the end we had another seven! Another two 'sightings' of 'something' could have also have been BNDs. We weren't expecting that many. No Harbour Porpoises as the chop was too high for us to see them unless they were about to get run over by us.
A good trip but standing and concentrating for a full eight hours is hard work!
This morning a bit of wood cutting in the garden at Base Camp had us spotting a couple of skeins of Pink Footed Geese going over, the largest one about 65 birds. A Jackdaw, a really scarce bird at Base Camp flew south, then the best sighting of the day, two Jays came from the east and turned south at the water tower.
Where to next? 'Just' Patchy stuff this week...in the rain looking at the forecast.
In the meantime let us know what's been swimming just beneath the surface in your outback.