I was not surprised when Royston called me to say that there had been another sighting of Black-browed Albatross off Scilly. In fact, not just any sighting...this bird stayed with a fishing boat all day. A quickly organised pelagic trip in another boat from the islands managed to get views as close as 20 ft. The ultimate pelagic twitch ?
Anyway, eager to see some photo's of what I thought would be the same bird, was surprised to find out that the Scillies bird is not the Pg bird. I have been in touch with Bob Flood on Scilly regarding the two different sightings of Black-browed Albatross and confirm that there are in fact two different birds involved. The Porthgwarra bird which 14 of us saw, was aged as a second year bird with a dark horn grey or olive coloured bill with a dark tip, grey sides to the nape and a limited amount of white in an otherwise dark underwing. The Scillies bird looks exactly like the illustrations on p.45 (illustrations: 1a and 1b) in the Helm/Scofield book (Albatrosses Petrels and Shearwaters) and has been aged as a fifth year bird.
(There was a further sighting of a Black-browed Albatross off Ireland the morning after the Scilly sighting.)