Saturday, 28 July 2012

UAE East Coast Pelagic 27.07.12

The UAE Pelagics this season have been quite poor compared to the last two years,  counts are down and so is the variety.  Even with that in mind I ventured out yesterday with a few of the guys and of course Abdullah our wonderful driver.  Unfortunately,  Ramadan meant there was none of his wonderful Cardamon tea on this trip.   We set off at 3pm with the intention of going deep rather than close to shore,  The sea was amazingly calm. In all the trips I have done in the last three years it has to be the flattest I have ever seen, mirror like in places.  Once again birds were scarce,  the occasional Bridled Tern passed by along with the occasional solitary Persian Shearwater including one particularly scruffy individual pictured below,  definitely not in the large numbers I am used to seeing.  It wasn't long before we saw our first Wilson's Storm Petrel and by the end of the trip we had counted nine.  

Wilson's Storm Petrel is one of the most abundant bird species in the world and has a circumpolar distribution mainly in the seas of the southern hemisphere but extending northwards during the summer of the northern hemisphere. The world population has been estimated to be more than 50 million pairs.  It is strictly pelagic outside the breeding season, and this, together with its remote breeding sites, makes Wilson's Petrel a difficult bird to see from land

Wilson's Storm Petrel (Oceanites oceanicus)

Wilson's Storm Petrel (Oceanites oceanicus)

Persian Shearwater (Puffinus persicus)