Mermaid pelagic July 24th evening- Our first trip of the season set out in heavy drizzle and against a reasonable swell. Almost immediately we passed Harbour Porpoises in Mount’s bay, and numerous Common Dolphins further out, but the large numbers of Manx Shearwaters of the previous days seemed to have moved away from the bay area, and despite seeing one Cory’s Shearwater on our 3pm trip, there were no larger shearwaters on our way towards Wolf Rock. We began chumming about 8 miles offshore and a good number of birds began feeding in the slick, but the variety of species was a bit disappointing; 8+ Storm Petrels, a few Manx Shearwaters, Fulmars, Gannets, Kittywakes, larger gulls and a single Bonxie.

Almost more intriguing were the shark fins that kept crossing the slick – presumably Blue sharks – but they remained tantalisingly low in the water. When the time came to head back we took the chance to follow a local day-boat gutting fish which was attracting large numbers of the bigger, more aggressive scavengers as well as up to 6-7 Storm Petrels, and the latter followed the boat all the way back into Mount’s Bay where we ran into arguably the highlight of the trip – a feeding frenzy of gulls, Gannets and anywhere between 50 and a hundred Common Dolphins gorging on a huge concentration of pilchards from off the “Trees” to the inner bay.

     Apart from the species already mentioned, we saw Razorbills, Guillemots (plus one with a young chick), Ocean Sunfish, and many Compass Jellyfish. The bird list was less than we’d hoped. It is still very early in the season however, and we had narrowly missed the movement of Cory’s of the previous days, but the increase in Storm Petrels was encouraging and there is still all to play for…!
c dolphin 6bonxie (3) bonxie (4) c dolphin 2 c dolphin 3 c dolphin 4 c dolphin 6 fulmar manx (3) pilchard feeding frenzy storm petrels