17th September 2012 – Leach’s Petrel patch tick!

Me and Col met up at Port for an hour or so early this evening, as usual we began by searching through the waders, but I found myself drawn to the open water where lots of auks seemed to be passing, and then I picked up a Manx Shearwater, I think this is the first time I’ve seen one this far up the Solway. Col got onto it and we began to wonder whether maybe we should’ve gone to the shelter instead. On the face of it though the conditions didn’t seem ideal for a seawatch, yeah sure it was a bit windy, particularly when the showers came through, but neither of us were expecting to see a Manxie – or what came next! A Leach’s Petrel! Col found it and I quickly got onto it as it followed the shoreline heading in, but as we watched, it turned and began to head back towards us. On our first distant views it was really tricky to make out the white rump at all, but it was obviously quite a large petrel and very long winged, and the upperwing pale panel could be seen even at this range. But then it kept getting closer and soon our scope views were getting really good, it was coming much closer now flying low over the mud, often stalling and hanging in the wind, at times it seemed as if it would land on the mud, dangling it’s legs and pattering the surface. Wow this was superb, the last Leach’s I saw was way back in 2006. As it made it’s way past us we could see the forked tail, but it seemed to be getting harrassed almost continuously by gulls, and appeared to be heading towards the more open water again. Damn I wished I’d got my DSLR with me – instead I had to try to grab a couple of digiscoped record shots. Really poor I’m afraid but you can kind of tell what it is!…

As it headed past the harbour wall we wondered whether we could head it off at the Railings. Unfortunately we couldn’t relocate it, but we did find a Spotted Redshank here and a Greenshank flew over us calling. Good to see something half decent on the patch at last!

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One Response to 17th September 2012 – Leach’s Petrel patch tick!

  1. Neil scott says:

    I wonder if I could have a word with you at your convenience, would this be ok, if so I can give you my number or vice versa

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