Thursday, July 23, 2009

Warblers begin to move!

Another session seawatching! A very light ESE wind produced near calm sea conditions, the absence of sound along the coast being quite strange!.

Feeding seabird parties again moving both N and S, but also with the first adult LBBG on the move S and two Sand Martin. Endless lines of Gannets moved by, plus a stream of Manx Shearwaters. In these calm conditions the shearwaters were using a "flap and glide" flying technique and were rather slow, often being passed by Gannets and both being outstripped by passing auks, mostly Razorbills. The local Black Guillemots maintained their whirring "clockwork wing " impressions as they returned to shore.

Some young Whinchats at Claddach and perversely, a singing Common Whitethroat on overhead wires as if on territory. A couple of young Willow Warblers in the garden early morning were the first of the autumn, acknowledging, as usual, the last ten days or so of July being the point at which they begin to move out.

I was engaged by the recent story arising from a ringing expedition to the Shiant Islands off Scotland. A ringed, old Atlantic Puffin ( an OAP ) was recaptured 34 years after it was first marked making it the oldest known Atlantic Puffin within UK records. It was even recovered by the same person who'd ringed it originally. When stories emerge of some seabird populations being at low ebb it's encouraging to learn that this doesn't necessarily apply to all colonies.

I'd quite like to be an OAP and 34!!

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