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Thursday, 15 April 2010

Wildlife Watching Trips on board the Scillonian

Cornwall Wildlife Trust and The Isles of Scilly Wildlife Trust will again be hosting guided wildlife watching trips on board Scillonian this spring, in partnership with the Isles of Scilly Steamship Company. A vast array of marine species were spotted during last year’s successful day trips, and it is hoped that this year will prove just as spectacular. The sailings to the Isles of Scilly are running on Saturdays 17th April, 15th May and 13th June, with further crossings later in the season on 25th September and 16th October.

Naturalist Paul Semmens, who has worked with Cornwall Wildlife Trust for more than 20 years, will be your marine guide on these special trips, looking out for wildlife on the crossing. Springtime visitors may see puffins as well as the more common Manx shearwaters and storm petrels. Harbour porpoises, common and bottle-nose dolphins, sun fish and sea birds are regularly spotted from the ship and occasionally minke whales. If the seas are warm and calm you may even spot basking sharks.

Paul says, “The Scillonian is probably the best platform from which to see marine life. Last year I made over 750 sighting of at least seven different marine animals - mainly dolphins and porpoises but with the occasional minke whale. We even saw bottlenose dolphins and basking sharks on a couple of occasions before we untied and left Penzance Harbour! My highlights were some close views of a minke whale on a calm sea as the animal passed along the ship's port side and under our wake. A real thrill for the passengers.”

Spring is a wonderful time to visit Scilly with turquoise seas and the flowers at their best. The islands are probably one of the best places in the country to see migrant birds including hoopoe, golden oriole or bee-eater.

All trips depart from Penzance at 0915 and return from Isles of Scilly at 16.30 (with a 0845 departure on 15th May) To book call Isles of Scilly Travel on 0845 710 555, email, or visit the Isles of Scilly Travel Centre, Quay Street, Penzance TR18 4BZ. The reduced adult ticket price is £25, (normally £35) if the Wildlife Trust is mentioned when booking. Non-members are welcome. For more information visit these websites:


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