'Seabirds and marine mammals off SW Galicia, all year-round. Didactic, exciting experience at the best value!'

Monday, November 7, 2011

Photos from pelagic trip - October, the 29th

Thanks to Martino Picallo, we can enjoy beautiful images of some of the species observed in the last pelagic trip aboard "Chasula" on October, the 29th:

Alca torda (c) Martiño Picallo
Alca torda (c) Martiño Picallo

Larus fuscus  (c) Martiño Picallo

Stercorarius skua (c) Martiño Picallo

Stercorarius pomarinus (c) Martiño Picallo

Stercorarius pomarinus (c) Martiño Picallo

Morus bassanus (c) Martiño Picallo
Oceanites oceanicus (c) Martiño Picallo

Oceanites oceanicus (c) Martiño Picallo

Puffinus mauretanicus (c) Martiño Picallo
Puffinus gravis (c) Martiño Picallo

Larus michahellis & Oceanites oceanicus (c) Martiño Picallo

Morus bassanus & Hydrobates pelagicus (c) Martiño Picallo
And several sequences of  lesser black-backed gull ( Larus fuscus) being harassed by skuas( Stercorarius skua)
(c) Martiño Picallo

(c) Martiño Picallo

(c) Martiño Picallo

(c) Martiño Picallo

(c) Martiño Picallo

Sunday, October 30, 2011

New species - 29 october 2011

On 29th October 2011 a new pelagic trip was performed in the 'Chasula'. As the forecast was not OK for a long (12 miles offshore) pelagic trip, captain decided to visit a well-known fishing point called "Os Setembros", just 7 miles W of Ons islands, were both seabirds and marine mammals were seen in summer.

Nine participants (including TV group) plus the crew observed the following species (bold: highlights, italics: approximate numbers), including new species for Seabirds Galicia: Charadrius hiaticula, Larus sabini, Rissa tridactyla, Alca torda and Anthus pratensis:

Melanitta nigra 42
Puffinus gravis 86
Puffinus mauretanicus 5
Oceanites oceanicus 2
Hydrobates pelagicus 23
Morus bassanus 55
Phalacrocorax carbo 10
Phalacrocorax aristotelis 150
Ardea cinerea 2
Egretta garzetta 3
Charadrius hiaticula 10
Calidris alpina 1
Arenaria interpres 9
Stercorarius skua 5
Stercorarius pomarinus 7
Stercorarius parasiticus 1
Larus melanocephalus 5
Larus sabini 1
Larus ridibundus 50
Larus fuscus 250
Larus michahellis 230
Larus marinus 3
Rissa tridactyla 1
Sterna sandvicensis 4
Alca torda 2
Anthus pratensis 2
Motacilla alba 1
Hydrobatidae 2
Larus sp. 150

Cetacea 1
(this individual was seen breaching twice, no certain ID).

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

No ornithological trip - As Pozas- October, the 15th

Stercorarius pomarinus & Morus bassanus 15/10/2011

The last saturday (15/10/11), we spent a fishing journey aboard the Chasula. We were around the area known with the name of As Pozas, placed at the west from Sálvora island and 8 milles outland. It was a /nice fishing journey, and also favorable for the observation of birds and other wildlife, although this time, "Wilson" did not appear.

This is the list of species observed:

Larus fuscus  150
Larus marinus   6
Larus ridibundus   155
Larus michahellis   235
Sterna sandvicensis   1
Phalacrocorax aristotelis   110
Phalacrocorax carbo   15
Falco peregrinus   1
Morus bassanus 140
Melanitta nigra   10
Calonectris diomedea 16
Puffinus gravis   6
Puffinus mauretanicus   9
Puffinus griseus   13
Puffinus puffinus   2
Stercorarius skua   2
Stercorarius pomarinus   3
Stercorarius sp   2
Álcido   1
Ardea cinerea   3
Arenaria interpres   2

Were also seen a sunfish, Mola mola, and the star of the day: a minke whale, Balenoptera acutorostrata, which spend with us all the journey.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Good pelagic trip - 12 Oct 2011

A pelagic trip was performed on 12th October 2011, being observed (and photographed) a good quantity of birds of several species (bold: highlights, italic: approximate numbers):

Arenaria interpres 6
Calonectris diomedea 24
Charadrius hiaticula 1
Haematopus ostralegus 1
Hydrobates pelagicus 31
Larus fuscus 470
Larus marinus 9
Larus melanocephalus 14
Larus michahellis 1435
Larus ridibundus 201
Melanitta nigra 2
Morus bassanus 100
Oceanites oceanicus 5
Phalacrocorax aristotelis 308
Phalacrocorax carbo 44
Puffinus gravis 182
Puffinus griseus 1
Puffinus mauretanicus 13
Stercorarius parasiticus 1
Stercorarius pomarinus 6
Stercorarius skua 14
Sterna sandvicensis 9
Alcidae 1
Hydrobatidae 7
Larus sp. 50
Scolopacidae 1
Stercorarius sp. 1

Delphinus delphis 53
Delphinidae 2

Mola mola 1

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Successful pelagic trip - 1st October 2011

Oceanodroma castro, 1/10/2011 (c) Xoán Diéguez

Today, 1/10/2011, a pelagic trip on-board 'Chasula' boat was performed with success, reaching 12 nm off W Ons island. From 8:00 to 18:00 h, 11 participants plus crew were able to observe these species (in bold, highlights, in italic aproximate quantities; highlight: Oceanodroma castro):

Melanitta nigra 5
Calonectris diomedea 20
Puffinus gravis 225
Puffinus griseus 8
Puffinus puffinus 3
Puffinus mauretanicus 14
Oceanodroma castro           
Oceanites oceanicus
Hydrobates pelagicus 37
Morus bassanus 139
Phalacrocorax aristotelis 100
Ardea cinerea 1
Falco peregrinus 1
Arenaria interpres 2
Actitis hypoleucos 1
Larus melanocephalus 10
Larus ridibundus 221
Larus argentatus 2
Larus fuscus 940
Larus michahellis 664
Larus marinus 4
Stercorarius skua 20
Stercorarius pomarinus 2
Stercorarius parasiticus 3
Stercorarius longicaudus 1
Sterna sandvicensis 24
Sterna hirundo 7
Sterna paradisaea 1
Sterna albifrons 1
Motacilla cinerea 2
Motacilla alba 2
Procellariidae 1
Puffinus sp. 1
Hydrobatidae 13
Larus sp. 50
Stercorarius sp. 6
Motacilla sp. 5

Delphinus delphis 33
Delphinidae 3

Prionace glauca 25
Mola mola 1

Vanessa atalanta 1
Pieridae 1
Lycaenidae 2

And some photos:
Puffinus gravis (c) Xoán Diéguez.

Puffinus gravis (c) Xoán Diéguez.

Puffinus gravis (c) Xoán Diéguez.

 Puffinus gravis (c) Alejandro Torés.

Hydrobates pelagicus (c) Xoán Diéguez.

Oceanodroma castro (c) Xoán Diéguez.

 Oceanites oceanicus (right) (c) Alejandro Torés.

Falco peregrinus hunting a Larus ridibundus (c) Xoán Diéguez.

Stercorarius skua (c) Xoán Diéguez.

 Stercorarius skua (c) Xoán Diéguez.

 Sterna hirundo (c) Xoán Diéguez.

Delphinus delphis (c) Xoán Diéguez.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Next pelagic trip - 1 Oct 2011

After the 'pilot' trip of the 10th September 2011, and hoping better sea and wind conditions, we schedule the next pelagic trip for the Saturday 1st October 2011, at the time of the World Bird Day (BirdLife International).

Please, check the different pages above to see location, route, species, tips on-board and prize.

Reserve here:

No success this time

Today, 10th September 2011, we performed the first birding trip of the 'Chasula'. 14 people (12 participants plus skipper and sailor) started at O Grove harbour at 7:30 facing W to the Sálvora archipelago. However, at Sagres area (near Aguiño), waves and wind (stronger than forecast said) were too heavy for going beyond these islands. Skipper decided to stay off the E shore of Sálvora island, where 'chumming' was performed before going back to O Grove harbour around 12:30 h.

It was a sad back trip, as we wanted to visit three points offshore (8-12 nm from Sálvora). Perhaps in another trip...

List of recorded species, including birds attending chum and seen travelling along the S shore of the ría. Highlights in bold:

- Sooty Shearwater (Puffinus griseus): 3 (chum) + 1 (travelling)
- Cory's Shearwater (Calonectris diomedea): 6 (chum) + 4 (travelling)
- Balearic Shearwater (Puffinus mauretanicus): 10 (chum) + 10 (travelling)
- Manx Shearwater (Puffinus puffinus): 1 (chum)
- Storm-petrel (Hydrobatidae): 1 (travelling)
- Atlantic Gannet (Morus bassanus): 3 (chum) + 30 (travelling)
- European Shag (Phalacrocorax aristotelis): 150 (travelling)
- Eurasian Oystercatcher (Haematopus ostralegus): 2 (travelling)
- Sanderling (Calidris alba): 1 (travelling)
- Dunlin (Calidris alpina): 3 (travelling)
- Ruddy Turnstone (Arenaria interpres): 1 (travelling)
- Lesser Black-backed Gull (Larus fuscus): 50 (chum) + 30 (travelling)
- Yellow-legged Gull (Larus michahellis): 100 (chum) + 250 (travelling)
- Black-headed Gull (Larus ridibundus): 10 (travelling)
- Common Tern (Sterna hirundo): 6 (chum) + 3 (travelling)
- Sandwich Tern (Sterna sandvicensis): 2 (travelling)

Some photos:

Puffinus griseus (c) Xosé L. Fernández Carnero

Puffinus griseus (c) Xoán Diéguez Vázquez

Puffinus mauretanicus (c) Xosé L. Fernández Carnero

Puffinus mauretanicus (c) Xoán Diéguez Vázquez

Calonectris diomedea (c) Xosé L. Fernández Carnero

Calonectris diomedea (c) Xoán Diéguez Vázquez

Morus bassanus (c) Xosé L. Fernández Carnero

Morus bassanus (c) Xoán Diéguez Vázquez

Phalacrocorax aristotelis (c) Xosé L. Fernández Carnero

Phalacrocorax aristotelis (c) Xoán Diéguez Vázquez

Arenaria interpres (c) Xosé L. Fernández Carnero

Calidris alba (c) Xosé L. Fernández Carnero

Calidris alpina (c) Xoán Diéguez Vázquez

Larus fuscus (c) Xoán Diéguez Vázquez

Saturday, August 27, 2011

10.09.2011 - first pelagic trip

The 'Chasula' (retrieved from chasulapesca.blogspot.com)
With this post, we present our first pelagic trip from O Grove (SW Galicia). It is scheduled for the 10th September 2011, and will be done aboard of the 'Chasula' boat (14 m LOA, 3.5 m beam). This is the first birdwatching trip of the 'Chasula', and we will try to observe interesting pelagic birds W and SW of the islands of Sálvora and Ons, reaching up to 12 nm offshore.

Provisional route of the 'Chasula' (10 Sep 2011) (Google Maps)
Target species will be Sabine's Gull (Larus sabini), Wilson's Storm-petrel (Oceanites oceanicus) and Great Shearwater (Puffinus gravis). It is very likely that Balearic (P. mauretanicus), Cory's (Calonectris diomedea) and Manx Shearwaters (P. puffinus) will be showy during most of the trip. Dolphins and even whales can be sight as well.

'Chumming' will be performed to attact birds near the boat.

This trip is almost full ('Chasula' has a maximum capacity of 12 people plus crew). We are planning another pelagic before mid-October.

More information:

Good birding!