22 August, 2016

The Interesting Bits

Now for a post full of gabbling and nonsense*.

So, three days, three watches... Some numbers;

Averaged hourly rates for the weekend [all southbound passage only]:

Manx Shearwater; 108
Balearic Shearwater; 3
Gannet; 37
Kittiwake; 27
Fulmar; 9
All terns; 19

Passage rates were.. Interesting. Circa 3% Balearic is more like what you'd expect for good passage counts - they've probably been off somewhere earlier this year. For Manxies, they were 129 / 35 / 130 per hour. Big drop on the Saturday, which was a day of much sunshine. Co-incidence? The wind was easily the strongest, and with a WSW, still in a 'good' direction. While the similarity between the other two is striking, Friday's figures are probably an undercount, due to dodgy visibility. Then again, with all the feeding activity on Sunday.. Ach, it is what it is.

'Terns' included mostly Sarnies, as you'd expect - 19per on Friday, 20per on Saturday, 1.5per Sunday - with a mix of others on Friday and Sunday. The others were again as expected mostly Common, but 2 Arctic Terns passed on Friday and one and a surprise Roseate on Sunday.

Skuas were very few indeed. A distant possible on Friday might have been the LTS that went past Berry Head, Saturday was a blank, and Sunday.. Ah, Sunday. A glorious adult Long-tailed with a feeding frenzy - feeding, not harrying! - was later followed by a light morph Arctic, harrying a luckless Kittiwake, again well out.

The turn on of the outfall on Friday and a shift in the wind brought a Stormie in - though very briefly, as it surely took one look at all the gulls...

Gulls included 5 BHG on Friday, and a scattering of passing/loitering LBBs. Two juv YLG on Friday, and one on Sunday. I keep hoping one will come in and land with the loiterers on the rocks so that I can get a decent picture, as yet in vain. 

Odds and ends included a Common Sand and 3 Common Scoter on Friday and a Razorbill on Sunday.

Yeah yeah, time for the big shears...

Friday; first up was a Great Shear, which passed well out and very fast at 0739. This was followed by a Cory's which, due to a lamentable failing on my part [I was, in my defence, wrangling a brolly and trying to keep track of other birds as well..] only recordable as 'some time after 0830 and before 0900'.. I think it was about 0840, but I can't be sure. It was almost certainly the same one which went past BH at 0856 - it was on the Manxie line and with a party of the same - so my lack of accuracy is very frustrating. [In the past, Greats have been timed from the Nose to the Head in about 10 minutes, and it would be interesting to see the difference, if any]
Three Sooties also passed at 0755, 0805 and 1042.

Saturday; What I believe was a single loitering Cory's was well out to the ESE at 1408, 1435 and 1446 [[Sorry, guys...]]
One Sooty went by at 1507.

Sunday; single sighting of a Cory's, heading north but in close proximity to a frenzy [due E] at 1750. This the same frenzy with the LTS, which popped up at the same time - I lost track of the Cory's due to the appearance of the Long-tail!

There were also other birds knocking about the Nose, such as this gorgeous thing;

"My name is not Quoth, 
you ignorant semi-evolved monkey..."

So.. While there were no Great Big Black And White Things, and not the numbers seen elsewhere, I did pretty darn good. I had toyed more than casually with heading for Porthgwarra and then Pendeen, but decided in the end that the weekend is not a fun time to go, and the weather wasn't that epic. [Hmm, not entirely accurate, judging by 170-odd Cory's at Gwarra...] Oh well. I will get down there eventually. If the Goddess of Birding smiles upon me with the weather, anyway...

In the mean time, I'll gladly pay my suffering and woe to keep on at the Nose - and elsewhere now and again - in the mad vain hope that one day, one shining glorious day, I'll actually get a decent photo!

Oh, stop laughing.

Be Seeing You..

[[*Please refer to the disclaimer at the page top before making any queries. Thankyou.]]

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