Sunday 4 August 2019

Out to Sea

My first Seabird and Whale trip of the year, in this the fifth year of Yorkshire Coast Nature S&W Trips!

The sea conditions looked dreadful by mid week and Friday's trip was cancelled and today's looked decidedly iffy. Fortunately, the forecast had improved and it dawned misty, with no wind and a light swell. Great! Having assembled the group, we were soon out on All My Sons with Sean, our skipper.

Sadly, despite the fab conditions, no Minke Whales showed today and the Bottlenose Dolphins stayed to the south. We did have a great time, with superb views of Bonxie (no pics from me as I had fishy hands as I was busy chumming!), a lovely inquisitive juvenile Arctic Tern, several Harbour Porpoises and Atlantic Grey Seals, along with lots of Puffins (and Pufflings!), Razorbills and Guillemots.

A fine time was had by all and a very enjoyable start to the whale-watching season.

Arctic Terns don't often approach the boat, but this inquisitive juvenile, flew in circles round the boat, seemingly interested to see if there was anything to eat. Juvenile Arctics are beautiful, compact with a short dark bill and pale, dusty grey upperwings, lacking the dark rear secondary bar of Common Terns. Their diminutive size is quite different from the lanky teenager look of a young Common Tern. Also note the dark cap which extends well below the eye, and the lack of lots of dark on the upper surface of the primaries.

Lots of confiding Fulmars today which seemed pleased with their handouts of Herrings.

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