Thursday, May 12, 2011

Somewhat sour skua watch.

Sour, well wouldn't you be? Out at just after 0500 hours, after plans to be on Jura had necessarily to be altered, with the intention of gaining some respite by completing a seawatch and, hopefully , connecting with some of the various skua species that have been passing the Outer Hebrides or even turning up in the Solway. All the usual "culprits" were in evidence.... Manx Shearwaters , Fulmars, Gannets , Kittiwakes, Shags, Arctic Terns, passing Whimbrel, passing Red-throated Diver, Auks galore but of skuas, not a smell, hint, raised expectation or even a mis-identification!!

Back for breakfast at 0800 hours and then a further three hours. Nothing!! I am convinced skuas, other than the odd bird, pass to the west of Ireland and cut across to the Outer Hebrides, unless they decide to cut across the bottom of Ireland , enter the Solway and take the overland route. However, in times past , colleague and friend, one Andy Schofield used to have skuas passing east along the southern shores of Islay. Whether these then went up through the Sound of Jura and gained height to pass NE above the Great Glen is a matter for conjecture. Certainly something similar happens in autumn with birds passing Chanonry Point, Inverness and continuing WSW into the Great Glen area, although we never appear to receive the benefit of "descending" birds along our north coast so they possibly continue west at height along the north coast of Ireland. Fascinating stuff!

as far as today goes, yours well and truly skewered!!

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