Sunday 11 August 2019

Little Gull gets its new feathers battered

The returning adult Little Gull looked a bit battered around its re-growing primaries when photographed by Malcolm today

Little else of note seen other than at least six juv Meds and a few waders on the shore south of Ocean Edge just after high tide:

Bar-tailed Godwit - 24
Grey Plover - 10
Dunlin - 90
Sanderling - 1

Saturday storm

The most significant statistic from Saturdays two hour watch on the incoming tide from the back of the harbour was a steady stream totalling 672 Curlew heading south close inshore, cutting over the inner end of the wooden jetty.  Obviously we get big counts from Red Nab during summer/early autumn, but a lot of these counts represent a 'roll-over' with birds leaving to roost further south as others are arriving, implicitly underestimating the total.  Any consultants involved in bird surveys in this area on a 'winter wader survey remit', especially if turbine-related, are missing a major potential impact on a currently well-publicised key species - an inshore blade-height flightline, peaking late June to late August and largely consisting of moulting 2CY or + birds

Seawatching and outfall watching late afternoon
Visibility was often awful during this two hours and the only remotely clear period enabled a gang of Manx to be seen, otherwise limited to close inshore stuff

Common Tern - at least four juveniles with two out further offshore and one getting blown backwards and forwards in the harbour-mouth and another blown into the harbour itself.  Possibly more than two inshore
Arctic Tern - at least one close inshore, appearing late in the watch, then joining the Common Tern on occasions blogging off the harbour mouth
Black Tern - juv in shipping channel during a brief clearer interlude earlier in the day, then it or another flying 'out' just beyond the end of the wooden jetty late afternoon
Little Gull - 2CY out, adult on outfalls
Sandwich Tern - adult out
Manx Shearwater - 3 in
Med Gull - up to 20, mainly on Red Nab and including 8 juvs
Rock Pipit - juv by seawatching point at back of harbour for a short time

Grey Seal - one harbour mouth
Brown Rat - one run over by the car on the way to the sea-watch - a bringer of more rain and poor visibility than luck!