24 May, 2014

One Good Tern Deserves A Load Of Others

Apologies for the tern pun. Again...

Well, I've got back into my blog, so I'd better get posting while I can.

Being back on lovely nights, I had today to, well, do stuff, but I got to the Nose first thing and had a look at the sea that stretched out until it got sunny. The forecast overnight showers had clearly enjoyed themselves so much that they didn't want to go anywhere else - it was absolutely pissssing it down!

Seawatching in heavy rain is very little fun unless you have a big boss bumbleshoot under which to shelter [with a nice cuppa]. Fortunately, I happen to be in possession of such a thing. Isn't that handy? ;) With the wind in the NW, I was able to set up on the very little-used South Steps - utterly exposed to anything S, but with a great view over the slick now being blown across the mouth of the Bay. It rained and rained and the slick spread out and chopped up and I kept my eyes peeled [fruitlessly, but you try anyway] for little black and white things. 0:)

This kept up until, with a final crescendo of a squall, the weather finally broke just after 0820.
Cue a wonderful pulse of birds, the highlight being a big flock of terns coming seething out of the Bay. They started north, split pretty much off the Nose; with some heading back south for a while before turning again and heading off north. A stunning Black Tern stood out a proverbial mile from the mass of commics and Sarnies, with at least 2 Arctic and 3 Common pinned down among the former. The group which temporarily headed back contained the choicest treat - at least by Nose standards - a beautiful Roseate, with all that tail!

The terns were only in view for about 1% of the watch, but they dominated it. After the main pulse - including for example a flock of 37 Manxies - things quietened down a bit, then a bit more, but still it took a long while to die off totally.

Running second was the second of two Balearics - the one which came later on and very close in :) - among 95 south-bound Manxies [with 16 going north]. Interesting odds and ends were 2 Shelduck and 9 Sanderling south, and 6 Common Scoter [5 female and one male] north.

On shore was my first Hummingbird Hawkmoth of the year - right down among the Mounds, too, so it might have been fresh in itself?

Finally.. This week I've encountered my first juveniles of the year; Bullfinches, Blue and Great Tits, and not forgetting the Robin!!

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