Thursday, 11 March 2021

Bonxie best of a decent wind blown bunch

The west wind was really strong all night, accompanied by very heavy and prolonged rain. The winds eased slightly and were WSW by the morning. Fortunately the rain held off for most of the day, with periods of sunshine.

Pete and Jean needed to be in the area today so managed a sea watch in the morning:

Kittiwake 316 (in 8 or 9 flocks) into Bay

Gannet 50 in and then out

Common Scoter 12 (10 +2)

Great Skua (Bonxie) 1

Fulmar 1

Great Crested Grebe 1 out

I was fortunate enough to see some of the Gannet on my walk along the south wall, although all my sightings were from the lighthouse area (MD).

There was some weak sunshine, and fortunately adult Gannet are large and mainly white making them relatively easy to spot in the sun, plus their distinctive markings, make them easy to recognise. Even so, they are normally a long way out, and this is a typical view.

You will have to open this images to see
two Gannet, plus another, less distinctive, species.
But luckily a few of the Gannet went out of the bay closer in, and I managed a few more detailed shots:

These were just inshore of the buoys out from the north wall

These were even closer in

I always feel that pictures, even ones showing a rough sea, give the impression of tranquility. It wasn't so, it was impossible to stand still. I've added this short clip of the above two birds, not for aesthetic reasons, but to convey the sense of what it was like. The blue post in this clip is the light post in front of the lighthouse.

Rock Pipits 4 - one each, foreshore, Red Nab, lighthouse and waterfall 

Janet also checked out the north side later in the day and took these pictures:

This Turnstone has just found an invertebrate 
This Lesser Blacked-Backed gull has a metal ring
Jay in trees near the end of the dog walk path
As Janet said, Dunnock are often overlooked,
but have attractive plumage when seen in detail 

There is always something to see.