Monday 6 October 2008

Scillonian Pelagic - 13th August 2008

This was the first Scillonian Pelagic trip since 2004. Whilst not a classic, the trip had its moments, not least a diversion to the Scilly Isles to unload several severely sea sick birders, as well as one poor chap who suffered a head wound.

Birding highlights included up to 600+ Storm Petrels, Great Shearwaters, Bonxies and an Arctic Skua which posed more ID questions than it should have.

Photography was difficult as all shots were hand-held, not easy with a heavy D3 and telephoto lens. I took about 800 shots, with approximately 30 that I was happy with! I set the camera to Shutter Priority so that there was the least chance of images being out of focus. Depth of field was not an issue as most birds were fairly distant. I used a polariser filter continuously to gain extra contrast and reduce sea glare. ISO was set to 500. White Balance: Cloudy. Exposure: 0.0 .

The heroes of the pelagic shown below are Martin Elliott, Mark Warren, Royston Wilkins, Leon Wilkins and John Higginson seen "chumming" at the stern of the Scillonian. The stench of rotten fish is overwhelming!

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