I decided to return with Darryl to Lundy for 2 nights to get some more audio shearwater action and help out Nicola the warden with any "muppetry" that might occur. The trip our on the Oldenburg produced a good 200+ Manx Shearwaters rafting on the sea and had the "little one" been amongst them we'd have nailed it! It is surely only a matter of time before this bird is seen at sea, as both my recent trips on the Oldenburg have produced good close views of many Manx Shearwaters and birds were also passing close to the southern end of Lundy in the evening.
The Little Shearwater (Barolo's Shearwater) seemed to be less vocal compared to when I first heard it, performing best on the Tuesday night between 02.00 and 02.45 but often only giving a couple of phrases and a long gap before the next call. I'm pleased to report that everyone present during the 2 nights was well behaved and Manxie activity was awesome.
During our stay Darryl managed to acquire some cracking sound recordings as well as pulling out a 2cy female Subalpine Warbler whilst I was inthe pub trying to clear some work deadlines on my laptop! I am very grateful for the non-birding visiting tourist who came to tell me about the Subalpine after Darryl had sent him to find me! Very surreal when a stranger walks into the pub asking if there is "a Jaffa in the house" as there is a "rare warbler that your mate with the professional looking camera has found!" Needless to say, I did not take too much persuading and managed to see this Devon gripper along with a 2cy male Hen Harrier also found by Darryl - and whilst in his flip flops no less!
All in all, a good trip and an added bit of adventure as we were forced to leave the island in a shiny blue helicopter as the Oldenburg was unable to dock in the NE/E wind. Shame, as we were looking forward to grilling the Manxies again from the boat - It is out there somewhere!
PS - One of the Lundy residents kindly gave me the recordings of a bird that was thought to have possibly been the Little Shearwater taken last summer, but it turns out it isn't, despite what some might say on their websites! Still, nothing like slapping out rumours as fact is there!
Photos of Subalpine Warbler and Sonogram of Barolo's Shearwater here: http://gwentbirding.blogspot.com/
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