17 June, 2011

Another Go

One of the perks of the new job is the early finish on Fridays. This can lead to either easy overtime, or scarpering for a quick bit of birding. Can you guess which it was today?

Yup, with the 'forecasting the wind'-type websites promising something interesting coming through between 3 and 4 or so, I nipped home for a quick bite then hot-footed it down to Hope's Nose, where I have to say I was a little surprised to see only a scattering of fishermen. One of them was still there when I left! [He was catching stuff, too]

Starting watching at 1415, I gave it 2 and a half hours - it was going to be 2, but a cracking Dark morph Arctic Skua came cruising by close in, so I stayed on a bit longer in case there were any more. Real sinister bird, this one, super black, with only a hint of flashes. Cracker! Oops, distracted by skua... Yes, so the front came through with a noticeable kick to the wind and a big hit of rain a little before 3-00. Most of the passage occurred before then [except Gannets and Kittiwakes, which almost entirely came through after] including all the goodies except said skua.

In many ways it was a rerun of Sunday, only with more rain and a steadier wind - letting me use the bumbleshoot, much to my relief! Star bird was almost an exact rerun of what was nearly the star of Sunday; only a frickin' Sabine's Gull!


Early on Sunday I had picked up a very interesting gull going past, nice flight action and lovely white triangles, but it was out in the murk and already going away so that I couldn't get either the head view or silhouette I needed to clinch it. Frustration! Today almost a repeat of that - this bird was a bit closer, though and I could clearly see no black in the tail [ :) ], but still.... Then it shifted course just a little and there was the hood. Ding-ding-ding-jackpot! Whether it was the full hood of an adult or the partial of a 1s I couldn't say, but a Sabine's is a Sabine's.

At the same time as the Sabs was going by, so were the middle two of no less than 4 adult Med Gulls which passed south. All nice and close, one hung around for a bit - gorgeous! Also on the gull theme, a lone adult BHG, right as I was leaving. A single Stormy came motoring through quite close in but it didn't even look like pausing. For shears I had 2 Balearic and 169 Manx south, with 20 Manxies heading north. Gannets and Kittiwakes picked up after the front passed, but never reached serious numbers.

PYL: 125

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