26 July, 2016

Birding 24/7

Nope, couldn't resist it..

So, with a weakish-looking front forecast for early afternoon seeming to be the only remaining chance for a seawatch in July, I decided to take it.

It didn't look very promising, especially for the Nose, and as I had to be up early the next day, a trip to 'gwarra wasn't really viable. [Despite all the frickin' Cory's that have been flying around there...]

So I went to Prawle. Default setting and all that. It seemed the most likely place to get something big and sheary.

Oh, stop sniggering...

I found an overcast with not much wind [natch] and eventually some mizzley mist which came and went and worked up to rain. Well, sort of. Then it cleared a bit, the mist came back a bit, it cleared some more... you get the idea. The wind did pick up a bit, too

Ok, weather report over.

I also found, as well as a usual assortment of land types, that my favourite sheltered spot was slightly occupied! No less than TM was already in situ and counting.. lots of nice things! With hopes raised, I joined him and so it began.

There were Manxies.

How many Manxies can you see?
Same group, few seconds later.

Lots of Manxies. Tony had had 'about a thousand an hour', so I figured, what with other things maybe passing and visibility threatening to get interesting, that clicking every one would be risking missing said other things [[seriously, stop sniggering]]. I made timed counts to get rates instead.
How did it go? From about 700 in the [late] morning, the rate climbed to just shy 1000, before peaking at 1300 with the front. Then the fog closed vis down so much that nothing meaningful could be made. After things cleared, passage tailed off quickly, with ~550 at 1600 and 160 at 1700.

Very little else was about. I saw 3 auks... Two of them were Puffins! A scattering of Gannets picked up as the day went on, main passage also west, but many going east;

Gannets in a V, whatever next..
[And Spot The Manxie]

A few Fulmars and a single C Scoter flock, 2 Med Gulls, a lone Razorbill [the other auk!], a Swift, and a Little Egret also passed.

But wait, what about the other shears?  6 Balearics, including 2 in a raft of 15 or so Manx, was the first vaguely decent count this year. Even better were 2 Sooties! Both in close, both flapping in a very un-Sooty-like manner [which I'd not seen since the Day Of The Sooties at BH, and that was a little while ago..]. They passed at 1223 and 1526. Of interest, the latter was notably small, appearing of more Balearic size compared to the Manxies it was with [also, I think in tail moult, which altered the silhouette].

Under the sea, we were treated to a pod of at least 6 Common Dolphin, including a calf, which breached and porpoised quite merrily. Though not for long, as alas, soon we had other company...

Horde of ToJ's....

I did try not to think uncharitable thoughts about the viability of trained GW Sharks, really I did...

Time for another picture;

Compare to my last visit...

In other news, here's a couple of shots from the Nose.

Not as camouflaged as you think you are..
Meadow Brown

Action shot!
Mrs Kestrel

And then there were three.........

And that's that.

I reckon those Great Big Bar Stewards went straight south from Start, btw. At least, that's what I'm telling myself....


Be Seeing You..

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