Monday 13 November 2023

It blew! blew very hard!

Storm Debi arrived as forecast, very strong SSW to W gale force winds (peak gust on Kevin's inshore weather station was 47.9 mph at 13:30 (it felt even stronger than that on the sea wall!)). The winds increased all day till mid afternoon. The strong wind was regularly accompanied by very heavy rain.

South Shore 
I battled out against the wind at 13:00 at the peak of the storm! (MD). The tide was up to Red Nab but ebbing now. It was impossible to look directly out to sea, I had to turn round and look back. There were only a few gulls feeding along the sea wall, but they were all "good ones" and flying quite close to the sea wall where the wind is deflected. Even so it is amazing how such light creatures could battle against the wind at all.
Little gull 14 at least. There were 8 adult (possibly including a second calendar year) plus at least 6 first calendar year. It took forever to reach No.2 outflow. I sheltered from the wind and rain below the superstructure for a while and took these clips. They are all pretty much the same, it didn't matter where I pointed my camera, there were always Little gulls in the frame.
You get a glimpse of Red Nab rocks in these first two clips.

This clip is looking straight out to sea. Six 1st calendar year birds and an adult. There were almost certainly other 1cy but six was the most I saw at any one time, but as you can see in this clip they were moving around very quickly when the wind took them.

This clip begins with an adult Little gull and ends on the only other gull feeding here, a Common gull.
The rain stopped for a while so I took the opportunity to walk to the end of the wall. Little gulls were feeding along the whole length, but it was impossible to tell which you had already counted. 14 was the most that I could see at one time. The only other gulls were
Kittiwake - 1 first calendar year zipped past on the wind. Plus possibly more in the inner harbour (no chance of standing still enough for a clear view), worth checking the pipe near the outflow intakes tomorrow.

As I was walking back No.2 outflow was becoming defined, there were already at least 14 Little Gulls feeding on it. 
As I reached Red Nab.....
Arctic Tern 1 juvenile was battling low and close in to the sea wall heading for the outflow. 

And that was it, everywhere else was scoured of all life, including human, I didn't see another soul. Tomorrow might hold some of the wind blown stuff in for a while.