Thursday 10 May 2018

Interesting seawatch

It is not often you can roll up on a morning sea-watch ten minutes or so before high tide and see 99% of the birds of interest, especially on a slow-moving neap tide.  The first 55 minutes 0650-0745 were very slow.  Most of the action was after the second Arctic Skua at 0748hrs and the most numerous species were strangely compartmented with almost all the incoming Gannets between 0745 and 0842 and all the incoming Manx Shearwaters in a relatively concentrated fashion between 0840 and 0915, including a flock of 42.  The sea-watch was not without its problems as a lone observer with running eyes for the first hour or so, leading me to leave the 'scope-only' Knowlys site to mix and match with binoculars at the suboptimal location of the 'new' north wall barrier. 

Sea 0650-0930
Arctic Skua - 7 - DM unless stated - singles in at 0711, 0748, 0802, 0815 (LM), 0831 (Darkish M), 0842, 0918 (LM)
Light morph Arctic or Pomarine Skua - probably the latter in very distantly and rapidly at 0846 looking 'heavy and long-tailed' but not seen clearly enough in the slight heat-haze
Manx Shearwater - 119 in and then many coming out which were treated as already counted
Gannet - 83 in, all but one full adult, with several coming out later in the watch treated as already counted
Arctic Tern - flock of 3 in
Kittiwake - flock of 3 in (1 x 2CY)
Sandwich Tern - mostly flying purpose fully in = 32 with some out/blogging later in the seawatch with one being briefly chased by the last Arctic Skua  
Common Scoter - 3 in (one male)
Fulmar - one in
Guillemot - 2+ 2 in on incoming tide therefore not duplicates