Saturday 3rd August; BBC Weather was on constant refresh, as was Met Office and Magic Seaweed. I phoned Julian Thomas mid afternoon, he also conveyed his interest and arrangements were made to drive through the night and grab a few hours sleep in the car.
Sunday 4th August- Porthgwarra Carpark 3:30AM We'd arrived an hour and fifteen beforehand but I still couldn't sleep, turns out Vauxhall vectras aren't as comfortable as a Fiesta or 206 but never mind. I think by the time 5am cam around I'd slept for about 30 minutes, it didn't matter though, it was time to wander up to Gwynapp head. Fortunately on arrival there was only one other chap on site which gave us chance to pick our spot, i turned out it wasn't as wise as first thought... A few showers began passing after an hour or so but this didn't dampen our spirits, we kept plugging away and our first large Shearwater, a Great, was making it's way west. Very soon after I picked up a Cory's Shearwater which was my first for quite a few years, and another Great Shearwater was then seen. The first of the really heavy rain pulses moved through and I realized I was not in the best position and took an absolute soaking, wet optics, wet clothes but not wet spirits a Great Shearwater passed marvelously close, only problem was I couldn't see the thing!
9:04AM: Possible Fea's, Possible Fea's, Possible Fea's, IT IS A FEA'S!!!
The next 25 seconds were pure adrenalin, anguish but then elation! after initially not getting on to it, I realized I was looking too far off and suddenly it was there, "**** it's that close!' for the next minute or so the enjoyment of this near mythical species off Great Britain was beyond anything I can describe, for many of us on the headland it was a tick, a tick I thought one day I may get from a pelagic, never from land. Punching the air has never felt so good, I just couldn't contain myself, it seemed neither could anyone else!
3:16PM: I was really struggling and had to give up for a cup of tea. Below are my totals for the day, although I missed a few/didn't look, things like Balearics and Sooty Shearwaters are a little unimportant when there are Large Shearwater to be seen!
Fea's Petrel 1
Cory's Shearwater 14
Great Shearwater 31
Long-tailed Skua 1
Balearic Shearwater 32
Sooty Shearwater 12
Storm Petrel 7
Arctic Skua 1
Common Scoter 8
Med Gull 2
Monday 5th August 11:44AM - I still can't calm down.