A good morning
Myself, Lee and Paul decided on the trip a few days before for a bout of sea watching so we headed down there leaving home at 5.00am.Due to the bright weather and barely into August, expectations were not high for anything notable or numbers of birds moving through.
Parking ourselves up near the beached boats we eventually started watching at 6.40am, the early hour, as we have found in the past is usually more productive.
Right from the start we started to pick up birds, Gannets and Terns as usual were moving through in numbers with the latter, mostly Common Terns, seemingly everywhere, it was also apparent that there were a lot of Porpoises around.
|Porpoises - plentiful|
We then started to pick up Common Scoter flocks going through, mostly going west, and then picked up our first ‘ goodie’ a Fulmar going west also @ 6.58am.
From here on we had a steady flow of birds before it quietened down at 8.15am.
The undoubted highlight and best birds of the morning went to 2 Balearic Shearwaters heading west at 8.05am, these also afforded good views being not that far out and hugging the deep water line where it goes from light to dark blue.
Prior to these 2 crackers we also saw 5 Manx Shearwaters, 2 west at 7.09am and 3 east at 7.22am, these were a lot further out with the 7.22am birds found while we were watching a Bonxie giving a Gannet a hard time.
Other birds of note included
Arctic Skua – 1 east at 7.49am
Arctic Tern – 1 at 8.02am
Whimbrel – 3 birds seen
Kittiwake – 3 adults and a very confiding juvenile seen
Common Scoter – 120 seen, largest flock around 45
Little Gull – 1 east at 7.47am
Mediterranean Gull - a juvenile seen
Not that many Sandwich Terns seen with the total number only around 10 birds.
An excellent morning so after popping down to the Power Station we then headed back down past the lighthouse to the car.En route we also recoded 16 Painted Lady’s with 6 in the Lighthouse garden and 7 in the Birders garden, I expect the southerly/south westerly winds had helped these over.
We hung around here for a while searching the skies as an Osprey had been seen over Scotney,unfortunately this proved negative, we later heard that it had been seen going out to sea.
From here we decided on a visit to the Arc Pits, no waders on show from the side of the road but we did pick up a Black Necked Grebe and a distant Green Sandpiper. Deciding to try and get better views we then headed around to the hides to try and get better views, this proved very productive when Paul found 2 Garganey.
A handful of Golden Plover were seen amongst the Lapwing and 3 Little Ringed Plovers were buzzing around, the Golden Plovers were still in partial summer plumage unfortunately too far for a photo.
The last port of call for the day was the Tree Sparrow colony, this rounded of a very good and productive morning, Lee had got himself 10 Lifers so happy faces all round.