|Leach's Petrel in the Elbe-estuary|
Only minutes after departure there was a petrel rather close to the ship, and it showed the typical flight of European Storm Petrel, which was soon confirmed by the pictures. Great start!
|note the diagnostic white line on the underwing|
|the rather distinct upperwing pattern resembles Leach's but indicates this is a fresh immature plumage|
At almost the same time a slender and dark skua appeared next to the ship, a dark phase Long-tailed! Soon afterwards both birds were also reported from mainland Kugelbake (but they must have distant views).
|juvenile Long-tailed Skua. Note the small bill with long dark tip, the boldly striped underwing and uppertail|
|the very long and blunt central tail-feathers and contrasting undertail-coverts|
|and the white pattern on the upperwing is limited to only 2 primaries|
Then we left the sheltered and shallow Wadden Sea. There was a severe swell with a wave height of 4-5 meters. For many people this was not good and chumming started:-) About halfway we saw several Arctic, Pomarine and Great Skuas and several Little Gulls.
|Pomarine Skua - same bird|
|same bird again|
|Arctic Skua - same bird|
And then there were no birds anymore, until we entered Helgoland-harbour. The whole trip lasted about 4 hours.. More from the island soon.
|immature Shag at the harbour-entrance|