09 August, 2016

Get There Early

With the waters off the south west of these here isles seemingly crawling with sexy seabirds, you've got to take your chances when you can. Work sucking as it does, this means that whatever opportunity comes along at the weekend, no matter how slim it may seem, is what I've got.

Thus it was that Sunday morning saw me dragged up before an hour that shouldn't be mentioned in polite conversation [or even here] to be down at the Nose when it was light enlough to use optics. The forecast spoke of a cold front coming through. Not a strong one, but with the wind blowing the right way and mist, fog, drizzly rain even.

Reduced viz means not only the possibility of big shear weather, but also Stormies coming viewably close [even if the SWBCM wasn't likely to fire up and bring them in to stay around].

Well, I did say 'possibility'..

As it happens, the weather bods again spoke with possibly triply-forked tongues*. The wind wasn't, really. As you can see from the first shot, the sea was not so much waved as wrinkled.. There was a little hill fog off over in east Devon. The overcast was bright - albeit with some big dark clouds - and oh, is that the horizon all out there?

But I forgive them - mostly - as while no Stormies came in, I did see lots of nice shearwaters, and a couple of skuas, too.

Less yakking, more piccies;

 The light was weird.
And, what's that blob on the horizon?

Yup, another empty tanker....
'Fehr Pollux'
[I'm waiting for Castor]

 Things did change, with a few bursts of blazing sunshine that did something odd to my poor ickle camera [which is, I think, missing its nice shelf with all the other rejects second hand cameras..]

Enough scenery, time for tweety birds.

"Tringa-style whistle"
["Feed me, Daddy!"]
["Isn't it time you learned to dive?"]

 Very vocal juvie Razorbill and put-upon adult male, right close inshore all the time I was there. There were at least 5 more 'pairs' of auks dotted around.

More target practice

Dontcha love juvie gulls?

They were all over the place.

Manky HerrThings aside, there were proper ones, including very nice Med and Yellow-legged examples. They, of course, didn't feel like posing.

Once again, southerly passage was mostly Gannets [227], Manxies [140], and Common Scoter [65]. Numbers of Fulmar [22] [many fresh and presumably juveniles] and some actual Kittiwakes [15] - with a juv!! - also joined the fun.

Skuas were a southbound Bonxie - which pulled a weird glide up and stall then move on routine for several hundred metres before settling on the sea for a while - and 2 lovely Arctics [adult, light and dark], which came in from Lyme Bay and headed towards the Exe. Tough day to be a tern.

Also in need of a mention were no less than 4 Balearics; 2 separates at 0631, then singles at 0642 and 0713. The last being one of, if not the palest underneath I've ever seen - quite a bird to see.

Anyways, said onset of blazing sunshine and dying of passage caused me to conclude the show was over, so I toddled back up, pausing only to nail a Gatekeeper;

Bit worn, but it was STILL!

Also to curse the scum you get on my Patch these days;

Missing something?
Two large - if damaged** - posts stolen for firewood
[never mind the 'fires on SSSI' thing..]

I'd not long finished cursing them to the attention of traffic wardens, when what do you know? it started to rain. Well, drizzle. And the wind picked right up, too. The sea went from wrinkles to waves and everything.


With a night shift to get ready for, I had other plans - involving bed, so not to be disturbed!! - and settled for thinking about extra peel in the marmalade...

I did get back to the Nose for the evening, but that's for another post.

Be Seeing You..

[[*I'm starting to consider hanging the lot of them up by their ankles and dipping them in warm marmalade until they promise to at least look out the window before telling us their little stories...]]
[[**See October '15 for the axe attack on said posts. Yes, really.]]

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