Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Went back up to Scotland on Sunday 9th for 7 days, the plan was I'd do a couple of days with the lads and then shoot off to meet another crew for a boat survey off the Northern Isles before another couple of days on the mainland. I've wanted to sea Killer Whale for a long long time now and thought I was gonna have to spend a couple of weeks in Shetland in July or go on an organised trip to see them so to see these amazing things just left me speechless. We reckoned the male was about 8-9 metres long, or feckin massive!

There were six of them and they hung around for about an hour, as you can see in the video below they weren't shy! the one in the vid came as close as 3 metres from the boat and actually twisted her head to look at us!!!!! At one point they caught a seal (I think) and ripped it apart, one of them twatted a lump about two foot long with it's tail and sent it flying through the air. It was unbelievable.
Dan has found out since that they are a regular pod in these parts but have also been seen in the Faroes.

Whilst I was enjoying these Yorkshires second Iberian Chiff was being twitched by all the keen Yorks listers, it wasn't long before I was getting texts and phone calls. Ha as if I was bothered about some poxy phylosc with a dodgy voice, they all seemed to see my point of view.

After the euphoria of the killers it was back to normality for a couple of days. I managed to see about 100 Great Northern Divers, a few migrant Dotterel and an Iceland Gull over the course of a few days. Then it was back to the mainland were I had a climb up a mountain on one of the sites, it's the third time I've done this site and at last I connected with Ptarmigan, and a pretty embarrassing lifer finally bit the dust wappo. The only British breeding sp I still needed!

On the way home the car decided to have a bit of a fit and ran out of petrol even though the gauge refused to drop below a quarter and the computer said it had 25 miles left in the tank! Fecking thing, after pushing for a mile and then getting a lift to the next services we finally got going again at 1am. Bastard cars. As you can imagine Adam was over the moon and his usual jovial self!!

Anyway back at home and playing it ultra cool I finally got to Potteric for the Chiff at about midday, it was duly wapped off and I'd had two tick in two days, 3 in a week if you include the Orcas. To be honest I was pretty struck by the Chiff it was far more obvious on shape and plumage than I expected, that said I'm still on a high from the Killers, the only bird I've seen that beats them hands down is Needle tail and I'm struggling to think of any others that compete so I can't get that excited about a phylosc that has hardly any stripes!!!

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