Friday 11 October 2013

A much better seawatch.

After this mornings dismal seawatching experience, I took a long lunch to squeeze in a two-hour seawatch this afternoon and I am so glad I made the effort.

Before I had even set up my seat, I had bonxies going north just beyond the breakers - a taste of things to come.

Bonxies certainly dominated the afternoon, they mainly came through in little groups, with an amazing 13 in one group alone. The two main highlights though were two Balearic shearwaters, the first one came through at 15.04, quite close in. I had hardly finished writing in my notebook when a pale pomarine skua came past very close, quite high above the breakers. An hour or so later (16:10), a second Balearic flew north, closer than the first, just over the breakers.

A steady run of sooty shearwaters, mainly singles, but a group of five in a line were amazing. Other highlights were a single slavonian grebe, 3 drake velvet scoters together and a great-northern diver. Compared to this morning there were very few duck, with only wigeon and scoters noted.

Posted totals from elsewhere have included leach's petrel - still very much a bogey bird for of these days

The full tally (1440-1640) (all north unless stated)

bonxie 61
gannet 981*
common scoter 102
kittiwake 416*
sooty shearwater 15
great black-backed gull 47N 1S
common gull 3
slavonian grebe1
guilliemot 3
black-headed gull 8
fulmar 8
balearic sheawater 2
pomarine skua 1
wigeon 32
velvet scoter 3
manx shearwater 3
cormorant 2
eider 3
red-throated diver 2
kestrel 1
razorbill 1
great-northern diver 1
shag 1

* under-count as ignored when something more exciting came through! Gulls under-counted too as many flying under eye-level, close to the dunes.

162 balearic shearwater (first on the patch since 2010)
163 pomarine skua (first since 2011)
164 slavonian grebe

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