Sunday, August 30, 2009

29th August, 2009.

A fine day but with a fresh SW/W wind, but no rain!!

Seawatching was somewhat disappointing as a fresh westerly over the last day or so ought really to have produced more, but failed to do so. Nonetheless counts over the first two hours produced just over 2000 Manx Shearwater, much reduced numbers of Gannet, but increasing numbers of Kittiwake and Fulmar. Most birds were hugging the coastline whilst moving south. At times like this it would be entirely possible to have birds almost passing below you , or at least very close, if you were positioned at the very edge of the rocks. However, the possibility of getting "washed off" by the occasional strong, high wave crashing through puts paid to the idea! As it was , spume carried on the wind was a nuisance and required optics to be cleaned every 20 minutes or so!

A single Great Skua made heavy progress south, as did a Red-throated Diver and 3 Puffin sped through with only two other auks being recorded. Puffins are now quite uncommon here and sadly appear to have ceased breeding here sometime during the mid-eighties. Four Turnstone were the only waders recorded and along with odd LBBG and Herring Gull more or less completed everything on the move south. Despite the disappointment expectations remained high and it was good to simply sit and have tremendous close views of birds sailing by. Additionally, taking time out to watch the changing moods of the sea as varying light conditions exploited, or muted, its colours was an additional bonus.

Strangely enough, as the volume of passage reduced and a decision to deliberately look for quality for a couple of hours was taken , the overall quantity of everything went down! Typical!!

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