Friday, 7 October 2011

A late starter

Friday 7th October
Strong WNW winds (F4-5), mild, dry, sunny

With the promise of strong north westerly winds and the first proper seawatch of the year, I was up early and at the towers as the sun came up around 7.30am. A few of the lads were already there, and the signs weren't good, little had been seen. All in all, it was a really disappointing morning, just a single distant skua and diver, and a few Arctic Terns. Quite where all the birds were, i'm not sure. I was convinced there would at least be a few more skuas, and perhaps some Kittiwakes.

By 11am we had all gone our various ways, and I went home for lunch. About 1pm I had a text to say there had been a few Bonxies and 2 Manx off Bishopstone, and shortly after Matt Hindle rang to say a Grey Phalarope was in Coldharbour.

I made my way down to see the phalarope, and what a cracking little bird it was. I sat for a while watching it feed while others were taking photos. They are great fun to watch as they peck away at insects on the water surface.

A quick look at the sea indicated birds were around, I saw 2 Arctic Skuas come off the sea, and several Gannets were distantly making their way west.

Back at the towers I had another seawatch until nearly dark, giving up at 6 o'clock. I managed to find 2 distant Pom Skuas, including an adult bird with full 'spoons' and a little later 2 much closer Poms, plus 12 Bonxies, 1 Arctic Skua, 1 Sandwich Tern, about 35 Common/Arctic Terns, a Red-throated Diver and about 9 Gannets all flying west.

Good fun after a long wait today.

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