Saturday, April 19, 2008

18th April, 2008.

And still we have easterlies!!!! Many's the time when spending autumn weekends years ago at Spurn we'd pray for easterlies of this intensity......

Despite the wind not all that much is changing. The sea was more "active" in the morning with Fulmars being very much in evidence after their previous absence. Gannets were more abundant with ca.120 off Portnahaven obviously taking advantage osf some food source. 6 Common Scoter , all males, went south and almost 20 Manx Shearwater moved north, not always that numerous this early in the spring.

In a sheltered bay 2 Wheatears, a White Wagtail and a Whimbrel were present , all evidence of passage occurring. Later a Jack Snipe was found, quite unexpectedley, along a little used track. 32 Curlew in a very tight flock were on/above Loch Indaal ( late migrants? ) and Ringed Plovers were more apparent.

Wheatears appear to be more generally spread , as are Willow Warblers, although not in great numbers as yet. 24 Barnacle Geese and 3 Greenland White-fronted Geese were all I could find signifying we're now very much seeing the final remnants of our wintering populations of well
over 40,000, with Barnacle Geese being in a majority. Odd hirundines keep appearing, and moving through , with certainly the "resident" pairs of Swallows seemingly yet to appear. The odd Great Northern Divers dotted around are moving into resplendent plumage , the last of which will remain well into May with even the odd non breeding bird summering with us. Scaup still remain with over forty present .

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