Making up for yesterday, I got a flyer from work and went to Druridge to do some seawatching, there was cold NE blowing as I sheltered my deckchair behind the marram grass and got myself comfy for a long sit.
I seawatched from 1645-1915 when the light went. Passage was steady, one of the first birds I saw was a pomarine skua, a pale bird with no spoons N about a third of the way out, in front of the pot flags, at 1720 I was sure I had a juvenile sabines gull going N but it was way, way distant, so it didn't make the notebook.
The highlight of the evening came at 1750, I got my eye on a pale phase arctic skua, it was in pursuit of a bird, when it turned and banked to try and dodge the skua it was only a sabines gull, no doubting this one, and adult, it was only about a third of the way out, slightly south of my viewing spot, the skua chased it closer in then it went back out again, eventually the skua gave in and the gull seemed to drop onto the sea and I didn't see it again. This is my second sabines gull at Druridge my first was in 2007.
I phoned the boys at Church Point in Newbiggin (after the traditional 'dissing' of any druridge single observer seabirds, in fact any of my Druridge records....) and they said they had had a couple of sab's through (and later had a couple more!). I only had two sooty shearwaters, my first of 2009.
gannet 347 (undercount, couldn't count them all)
pomarine skua 1
kittiwake 298 (undercount, ditto)
arctic skua 6
manx shearwater 98
auks sp 12
sandwich tern 18
common scoter 11
'commic' tern 2
sabines gull 1
red throated diver 6
sooty shearwater 2
arctic tern 1
I am now torn. I have to go to a meeting in Newbiggin tomorrow morning at 0930 do I:
a) Go to Druridge before work and look for migrants in the bushes
b) Go to Newbiggin and do some seawatching there
Answers in the comments box please.
133 pomarine skua
134 sabines gull
135 sooty shearwater