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Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Pendeen Watchpoint scores again

Following an abundance of Great Shearwaters seen off of Porthgwarra at the weekend (2,300 or more), with gale force SW winds switching to northwesterly during the morning, Pendeen Watchpoint of course came into its own. Surprisingly, only a dozen observers were there to savour the delights, and following a steady movement of Sooty Shearwaters and the odd Great Shearwater, yet another MADEIRAN STORM PETREL passed by. Like the majority of the rarer petrels that pass by there, this one was picked up at 1550 hours and remained on view for a full five minutes, eventually moving off west. It was beyond the rocks - perhaps at 600 yards or thereabouts - and allowed all present to absorb the salient identification features of this rare seabird as it bounded back and forth. At least 12 lucky observers.

At least 1 Madeiran Storm Petrel flew past Pendeen two Septembers ago, so with more Atlantic lows forecast for the next week or more, perhaps further sightings will materialise. Interestingly, Madeiran Petrels featured with other rare seabirds (White-tailed Tropicbirds, etc) displaced inland by Hurricane Irene last week on the Eastern Seaboard of North America.

The real seabird story of today though was the tremendous numbers of BALEARIC SHEARWATERS displaced in the English Channel, particularly in South Devon and Dorset, where 304 were logged off Berry Head, Brixham, and 185 off Parwle Point.