Monday, August 24, 2009

24th August,2009.

A fresh SW wind and fine conditions after the deluge of yesterday augured well for seawatching, and so it proved to be. An incessant stream of Manx Shearwater flew south including a single Balearic Shearwater which showed quite well. As the tide welled up at the southern end of Frenchman's Rocks 350+ Gannets milled around , diving incessantly into the frothy turbulence. A single Great Skua went through and a distant party of what appeared to be Bar-tailed Godwit struggled in the increasing wind. Three Whimbrel were also found on a rocky islet offshore . A small passage of LBBG had occurred previous to 1100 hours, the birds hugging the coastline as opposed to being offshore, a habit noticed many times previously, indeed small parties of birds sometimes move down the valley where the house is located in marked contrast to other seabird species.

Nearby a party of 7 Northern Wheatear suggested overnight migrants poised to make their next move!

Sadly the quality of the day deteriorated rapidly with the news of the death, in a boating accident in the Highlands, of Dr Mike Madders and his son , Daniel. A friend and colleague who'll be missed enormously and an ornithological research talent, especially on raptors and in connection with windfarms, whose loss will have reverberations worldwide.

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