26 July, 2017

Once More Unto The Nose.2

This post now re-worked to improve legibility. No added pictures, due to giggle throwing another hissyfit..

On with it;

So, with yet another juicy front showing up on a work day [and yet another birder bumped into with 'sympathy' for my imminent-in-about-50-years retirement...], I once again got in, grabbed kit, and got out to the Nose this afternoon.

I almost didn't. It was far too bright, and the rain was gone long enough for the ground to be drying..
But there were still clouds, some looked interesting, and the wind was blowing, so why not, eh? Persistence is No.2, after all.

After running into the birder I shall call Mr Peregrine, I went on down anyway and set up among The Mounds; as I could see the horizon, I felt an extra 20' might help with all the multi-km viewing, and to be honest, I just couldn't wait to get eyes on..

Doesn't look promising, does it?

Good. Call.

First bird. First bird in the scope was a skua. A distant but very interesting skua indeed. I watched it for a couple of minutes as it meandered southish, stalled, recovered, then finally plonked down. Sub-adult, I reckon.

There were not huge numbers after that glorious start, but oh the quality.

 Cory's Shearwater! Well out, in the only [excuse for] rain and loafing along in a bow-winged glide as the couple of Manxies near it arced up and did the Swift-fast wingbeats.. :)
5 Balearics! Three lone classics, close in, then two paler ones with Manxies. A Balearic was the first shearwater I saw - wowser. :) I even sort of got one;

Heading outside the Ore Stone.
[It's that dark thing on the left.]
If you zoom, you can see its wings are raised, mid flap, and you can see dark underwings, paler belly and dark vent. Really.

I'm blaming the angle; it worked last time!

I actually tried on all but one of the Balearics, as they were universally close in [compared to most of the other shears, anyway].

Almost invariably, I got this;

Sea watching...

In my defence, there is no way I can tell whether the bird I'm aiming at is even in view when using my little viewfinder, but at least I can see the sea.. [[Oh dear get a DSLR...]] It only sort of worked at Manxie line range birds once. Observe Gannets!

There are five Gannets.

So, aim for something harder to miss;

'Westerly Fulmar'

Fossils can't duck out of shot
[nice rugose coral, there]


Good gulls were thin on the sea - no chum today, alas - with only a lone juv Med. ambling past. At least, until the 'Two Brothers' came by;

With a few friends!

Three species

No, not as good as last week, either..

Getting back to the birds.. An early highlight was the two European Storm Petrels - through together on the Manx line - in proper bat-flutter mode; a wonderful way of flying with which they can move at a surprising rate [and I don't blame them, with all the gulls..].

A second good skua, and a bit closer, was a cracking light morph Pom, battering a poor Kittiwake. Even more skuas came with an insanely distant flock of five. They went by south, climbed up quite high at one point, and looked for all the world like Poms. Flight action, what shapes I could get, etc. But the gunk had teamed up with foreground heat haze [it was interesting weather!] and so I can't be sure they weren't Arctics. I really don't think so, though. Oh well.

Numbers; 84/3 Gannets, 29/3 Kittiwakes. No Fulmars or auks! Only 32 Manxies.. That's more or less 6:1 vs Balearics.. What the actual?!?

I suppose it's very much the weather. You've got the last dregs of the main passage - Cory's, Stormies, Manxies etc. - plus the birds who don't like the wind, so wait for it to ease off before they move - Balearics and LTs and so on - coming through at the late hour I was there.
Well, it's a theory, anyway.

It was more than the weather 'deserved', it was much much better than I expected. And I even got rained on a little bit! :D

Roll on the next one!

Be Seeing You..

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