Whilst enjoying the unprecedented local bonanza of 'geet loads' of Storm Petrels visible from land over the past four days in Northumberland (and elsewhere in Northern England/Scotland) I, along with another observer noted some behaviour that neither of us had noted before or that I can find reference to in the literature available to me (BWP/BBietc).
Our attention had been drawn to a loose flock of large gulls rising from the sea as well as a tighter flock of 60+ Kittiwakes. Looking for the expected skua that had disturbed them we both independently locked onto two Storm Petrels flying at c.5m above the horizon. The first of these moved north 10-20m before suddenly and rapidly building height to the point of being lost against the sky, I would suggest easily 100m.
Discussing the event immediately after we speculated that this may have been an evasion or escape strategy given the presence of 20-30 large gulls in the vicinity. Has anyone else noted this behaviour in Storm Petrels before? Anyone any alternate theories not involving House Martins?