Thursday, 15 December 2011

Will Minister Conveney listen to science when it comes to protecting the marine environment?

Seabirds, like humans, depend on a healthy marine environment, which is why BirdWatch Ireland is proud to be an active member of OCEAN2012, a coalition dedicated to ensuring that the 2012 reform ofthe EU Common Fisheries Policy stops overfishing, ends destructive fishing practices and delivers fair and equitable use of healthy fish stocks.

This week Minister Simon Coveney, along with other fisheries ministers, will signal how committed he is to protecting the marine environment.  In the space of a few days they will set fishing limits for stocks in a setting where science has taken second place to politics: this is unacceptable.

Puffin © Peter Loughlin

"We cant afford to damage fish stocks and squander marine resources", said Alan Lauder, BirdWatch Ireland's CEO. "The way the minister behaves now signals how seriously they are taking the ongoing review of Common Fisheries Policy which needs dramatic change so that healthy seas exist in the future, both for marine wildlife and for the people whose livelihoods depend on fishing."

"We will want to see technical measures to stop seabird bycatch, management tools like marine protected areas, and fishing methods that don't damage marine ecosystems," added Siobhán Egan, Policy Officer with BirdWatch Ireland.  "Birds depend on heathy seas. The current Common Fisheries Policy has been a disaster: will Minister Coveney be the man to make a difference?"

Click for more on the benefits of setting fishing limits that don't exceed scientific advice

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Seabirds & Fisheries Interactions Survey

BirdWatch Ireland wish to better understand certain aspects in relation to fishing activity in Ireland and any possible interactions it may have with seabirds, cetaceans & other marine life.

If you are involved in the fishing industry we would appreciate if you could take the time to fill out the following survey. Feel free to pass on the link to anyone who might also be interested.

All the information will be processed confidentially.

Thank you.

Go to Survey

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

November Seatrack Update

A run of Atlantic weather systems moving through over the past two weeks produced some nice tallies for the time of year with late Balearic, Sooty & Great Shearwaters noted along with all four species of skuas & a few Grey Phalaropes. A flock of up to 450 Little Gulls off the Murrough coastline in Co. Wicklow on 22nd/23rd October was a nice find, but to be expected in the right weather conditions at this time of year. 

Little Gull (Dick Coombes)
The final Seatrack survey of the 2011 season takes place this weekend 5th/6th November starting at 08:30am. Whilst the forecast for the weekend seems rather unfavorable for any 'decent' seawatching, early Novemeber can often throw up a few surprises, with Little Auk certainly topping the seasonal wish list. Observers in the south-west should still be on the look out for our target species, Balearic Shearwater, which can often be found here well into the winter.

If you're interested in undertaking a Seatrack survey then e-mail Niall Keogh at

Little Auk, coming to a bathtub near you! (Declan Murphy)

Location: Bloody Foreland, Co. Donegal
Date: 19/10/2011
Time: 08:00-11:05
Weather: F3 N-NW, showers & poor-mod visibility.
Observer(s): Chris Ingram

Great Skua (Bonxie): 23 W
Pomarine Skua: 7 W
Arctic Skua: 5 W
Skua sp: 6 W
Sabine's Gull: 12 W
Arctic Tern: 1 W
Red-throated Diver: 7 W
Great Northern Diver: 11 W & 1 E
Diver sp: 2 W & 1 E
Gannet: 164 W & 5 E
Kittiwake: 1431 W & 4 E
Guillemot: 1 W
Auk sp: 81 W & 16 E
Red-breasted Merganser: 36 W
Barnacle Goose: 54 W & 32 E

Location: Dursey Island, Co. Cork
Date: 17/10/2011
Time: 08:00-10:00
Weather: F6-7 W-SW, dry with excellent visibility
Observer(s): Derek A. Scott

Manx Shearwater: 2 N
Sooty Shearwater: 3 N
Pomarine Skua: 1 N
Arctic Skua: 3 N
Skua sp: 1 M (Arctic/Pomarine sat on the sea)
Fulmar: 190 N
Kittiwake: 105 N
Auk sp: 231 N

Harbour Porpoise: 6 M

"Undertaken from the comfort of our house, 2.2 km from the extreme south-western tip of the island. Our house is situated about 450 feet above sea-level and faces due south, so that we have a commanding view of the sea between Mizen Head and the tip of Dursey. Sea-watching can be quite good from the door of our house when there is a strong wind from the north-west or west and most birds are tracking WNW into the wind on a course from Mizen Head to Dursey Tip. A good telescope is, however, essential. The disadvantage is that we seldom see anything that is heading south-west past the tip from the north side of the island, as this is much too far away."

Location: Bloody Foreland, Co. Donegal
Date: 15/10/2011
Time: 08:25-11:35
Weather: F2-4 SW, light-nil rain in poor-good visibility
Observer(s): Ralph Sheppard & Chris Ingram

Manx Shearwater: 1 W
Sooty Shearwater: 2 W
Storm Petrel: 1 W
Great Skua (Bonxie): 1 W & 1 E
Arctic Skua: 3 W
Skua sp: 2 E & 1 M
'Commic' Tern: 1 W
Common Scoter: 8 W
Red-throated Diver: 1 W
Great Northern Diver: 13 W & 4 E
Diver sp: 1 W & 1 E
Fulmar: 1 W
Gannet: 535 W & 71 E
Kittiwake: 28 W & 4 E
Guillemot: 26 W
Razorbill: 31 W
Auk sp: 107 W
Black Guillemot: 1 W
Red-breasted Merganser: 1 E

Basking Shark: 1 W

Location: Brownstown Head, Co. Waterford
Date: 15/10/2011
Time: 08:55-12:00
Weather: 5-6 SW, vis moderate, some drizzle
Observer(s): Paul Walsh & Jonathon Bulfin

Great Skua (Bonxie): 2 E
Arctic Skua: 1 E & 1 W
Fulmar: 2 W
Gannet: 20 E, 29 W
Red-throated Diver: 1 W
Diver sp: 1 W
Wigeon: 13 W
Shelduck: 3 W
Kittiwake: 17 E & 159 W
Sandwich Tern: 1 W
Auk sp: 27 E & 34 W

Friday, 28 October 2011

Make Ireland an Ocean Champion! TODAY!!!

Within 24 hours, the Irish government could join a growing European call to strengthen fishing limits, but only if they hear from concerned citizens from across Ireland first!

The EU is currently reforming its “Common Fisheries Policy”, but the proposals don’t go far enough towards saving our seas through science-based catch limits. Ireland is one of the first countries to review the new plans and our government is hosting a public consultation for the next 24 hours.

Call for tighter catch limits and make Ireland an ocean champion by adding your voice here:

Friday, 21 October 2011

Appeal to EU policy makers to stop needless seabird bycatch

Original article taken from the BirdLife International Community blog
BirdLife Europe launched exhibition at the European Parliament with stunning albatross images
On Tuesday 18 October, BirdLife Europe and LPO/BirdLife in France opened its remarkable photo exhibition “Albatrosses, legendary birds”, showing sixteen giant photos demonstrating the spectacular beauty and the unique adaptation of these birds to life in the harsh environment of the southern oceans, with a focus on the problem of their needless deaths through bycatch in the course of longline fishing operations. The exhibition also stresses the dire consequences of this impact on albatross populations. Indeed, 17 out of 22 species are already in danger of extinction. It is now urgent to take action to save them.
Jacques Perrin, French actor, filmmaker and the producer of beautiful wildlife documentaries, including the famous  “Microcosmos”, “Winged Migration” and “Ocean”s, opened the speeches and illustrated the extent of the problem “ Just one longline fishing boat can use a line of 130 km long, attached to which are 10-20 000 hooks. […] Each year, 100 000 albatross die this way.” Mr Perrin continued “Albatrosses are an ideal indicator of the health of our oceans, and we know they are being destroyed by short term fishing policies and exploitation practices by our nations”
(Photo Credit: Alison Duncan)
“Not only albatrosses are suffering from seabird bycatch, but also hundreds of thousands of birds in the EU seas” stressed Angelo Caserta, Regional Director of BirdLife Europe. On a positive note he added: “We have solutions for this problem. It’s not difficult and it’s not costly. We can create win-win situations for fishermen.”
For Estelle Grelier, the French socialist MEP who hosted the event, a data collection related to bycatch is a precondition to finding effective solutions, “Just as for the Common Fisheries Policy reform, fishermen will need to be associated to this process”
Lowri Evans, Director General of DG Mare confirmed that the Commission is planning to adopt the EU Seabird Action Plan by the end of the year, containing monitoring and mitigation measures that will reduce seabird bycatch in both European and international waters. She stressed, as advocated in the reform of the Common Fisheries Policy, the need to move to a wider approach to fisheries management encompassing all elements of the ecosystem including seabirds. She called upon Members of the European Parliament, Member States, NGOs, the fishing industry and civil society to help bring about this change.
BirdLife Europe is encouraged by the positive news about the upcoming publication of the EU Seabird Action Plan, but at the same time highlights that this is just a first step in our efforts to save the birds. To be effective, the Action plan will need to be translated into the ongoing CFP reform and be accompanied by research, development of technical mitigation solutions, and awareness rising within the fisheries sector.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Mid October Seatrack Update

The last Seatrack Target Weekend (1st/2nd Oct) was fairly quiet to say the least with light winds or heavy sea mist hampering seawatch efforts at most sites. The fact that quite a few scarce passerines were picked up at the seawatch sites says it all! 

Last weekend saw some good strong W-NW winds however, resulting in some very nice tallies along the West coast highlighted by plenty of auks, Bonxies, Pomarine Skuas & a smattering of Long-tailed Skuas. Numbers of shearwaters overall dropped off as expected, yet tallies of Manxies & Sooties made it into triple figures at some sites. The first wave of divers, mergansers, diving duck & Barnacle Geese was also picked up on, particularly in the North & North West.

The next Seatrack survey takes places this weekend 15th/16th Oct starting at 08:50. Again the forecast looks settled but the West may get some ok winds on the Sunday. This will be the penultimate survey of the 2011 season. Saying that, quite a few Balearic Shearwaters can often be recorded during this time, especially along the south coast, so do keep an eye out. 

If you're interested in taking part in a Seatrack survey then e-mail Niall Keogh at

Barnacle Goose (Dick Coombes)
Location: Fanad Head, Co. Donegal
Date: 09/10/2011
Time: 12:10-14:40
Weather: F3 W-NW, good visibility with no precipitation
Observer(s): Chris Ingram

Great Skua (Bonxie): 3 W
Pomarine Skua: 8 W
Arctic Skua: 1 W
Arctic Tern: 2 W
Common Scoter: 4 W
Red-throated Diver: 3 W
Great Northern Diver: 1 W
Diver sp: 2 E
Red-breasted Merganser: 2 W
Gannet: 80 milling offshore
Kittiwake: 33 W
Guillemot: 33 W
Razorbill: 52 W
Auk sp: 87 W
Merlin: 1 
Snow Bunting: 10

Location: Bloody Foreland, Co. Donegal
Date: 07/10/2011
Time: 08:15-13:50
Weather: F6 NW, good visibility with no precipitation
Observer(s): Ralph Sheppard, Chris Ingram & Gareth Doherty

Sooty Shearwater: 7 W
Manx Shearwater: 57 W
Leach's Petrel: 7 W
Grey Phalarope: 4 W
Great Skua (Bonxie): 156 W
Pomarine Skua: 77 W
Arctic Skua: 46 W
Skua sp: 17 W
Long-tailed Skua: 7 W
Sabine's Gull: 21 W
Common Tern: 4 W
Arctic Tern: 76 W
Eider: 10 W
Red-throated Diver: 7 W & 2 E
Great Northern Diver: 31 W & 4 E
Diver sp: 1 W & 5 E
Fulmar: 1 W
Gannet: 383 W & 48 E
Kittiwake: 646 W
Guillemot: 6 W
Razorbill: 18 W
Auk sp: 675 W
Barnacle Goose: 216 W
Brent Goose: 15 E
Teal: 4 W
Tufted Duck: 1 W
Red-breasted Merganser: 6 W
Snow Bunting: 3 W

Nice variety with good numbers of auks & skuas. Plenty of wildfowl & divers which is typical for this site at this time of year. 

Location: Bloody Foreland, Co. Donegal
Date: 06/10/2011
Time: 18:00-19:00
Weather: F8/9 W-NW
Observer(s): Gareth Doherty

Sooty Shearwater: 8
Great Skua (Bonxie): 45
Pomarine Skua: 8
Arctic Skua: 38
Plus "countless" Manx Shearwaters & Gannets

Location: Bloody Foreland, Co. Donegal
Date: 01/10/2011
Time: 08:05-11:15
Weather: F1-2 NE-N, excellent visibility with no precipitation.
Observer(s): Ralph Sheppard & Chris Ingram

Sooty Shearwater: 2 W
Manx Shearwater: 4 W
Great Skua (Bonxie): 4 W
Pomarine Skua: 1 W
Arctic Skua: 3 W
Sandwich Tern: 4 W
Arctic Tern: 1 E & 1 M
Common Scoter: 1 E
Red-throated Diver: 4 W & 2 E
Great Northern Diver: 6 W & 5 E
Diver sp: 3 W
Gannet: 366 W & 419 E
Kittiwake: 11 W & 3 E
Guillemot: 10 W
Razorbill: 78 W & 3 E
Auk sp: 254 W & 10 E
Black Guillemot: 2 W & 2 E

Bottlenose Dolphin: 10 W (incl. 2 large calves)

"Given the very settled weather, it could have been worse. The dolphins were amazing. Moving at speed just along the edge of the rocky shore, and surfing the only wave available, which even in these calm conditions is quite a substantial one running diagonally out from the shore at SW-NW, so we got a side view of the surfers in the green water."

Location: Carnsore Point, Co. Wexford
Date: 02/10/2011
Time: 08:30-10:00
Weather: F2-3 S, extremely poor visibility (<200m at times) due to heavy sea mist & drizzle.
Observer(s): Niall T. Keogh

Balearic Shearwater: 1 M
Manx Shearwater: 2 M
Great Skua (Bonxie): 3 M
Sandwich Tern: 2 W
Black Tern: 6 M (1 adult & 5 juveniles)
'Commic' Tern: c.120 M (approx. 90% Common & 10% Roseates)
Gannet: c.40 M
Kittiwake: 6 E & 4 M
Guillemot: 4 E & 2 M
Razorbill: 28 E & 28 M
Auk sp: 13 E
Yellow Wagtail: A juv/1st-winter flew west under the seawatch site
Lapland Bunting: 1 seen in flight & heard calling overhead

"All the action happened within the first 30 minutes with the majority of the birds listed above present in a single milling feeding flock just 300m offshore which dissipated rather quickly. The heavy mist enclosed soon after & hardly a bird could be seen for the next hour, but terns could still be recorded by ear!!!"

Location: Dursey Island, Co. Cork
Date: 01/10/2011
Time: 08:00-11:00
Weather: F3 NE decreasing to F1 NE, good visibility with no precipitation.
Observer(s): Derek A. Scott

Sooty Shearwater: 1 S
Manx Shearwater: 3 S
Great Skua (Bonxie): 2 S & 1 N
Pomarine Skua: 2 S
Common Scoter: 4 N
Great Northern Diver: 2 N
Fulmar: 2 S & 1 N
Kittiwake: 13 S & 6 N
Auk sp: 233 S, 287 N & 30 M 

Minke Whale: 1 N
Common Dolphin: 40 N
Harbour Porpoise: 12 M

"Herewith the sea-watch from the north-west tip of Dursey Island (from ‘Tea Bag Ledge’) on 1 October 2011. A fine dry morning with a light north-easterly breeze - not ideal for sea-watching. The Fulmars have suddenly all gone (and are now worth counting again!), and most of the Manx Shearwaters are long gone."

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Late September Seatrack Update

The last Seatrack Target Weekend (17th/18th Sept) coincided nicely with a mass movement of Sabine's Gulls, Arctic Terns, Long-tailed Skuas & Sooty Shearwaters along the west coast, particularly from The Bridges of Ross & Dursey Island. A smattering of scarcities were still recorded from vantage points along the North, South & East coast however, with a late Cory's Shearwater from Wicklow Head topping the bill.

The next Seatrack survey takes places this weekend 1st/2nd Oct. We're now moving away from the traditional seawatching period but given the right conditions, good numbers of skuas & Leach's Petrels can be expected along with an increase in the number of auks, seaduck & divers. Saying that, the forecast for the weekend looks rather settled so the draw of checking gardens & bushes on headlands might take precedence over seawatching for some! If you're interested in taking part in a Seatrack survey then e-mail Niall Keogh at

Location: Fanad Head, Co. Donegal
Date: 18th September 2011
Time: 08:10-10:10
Weather: F5-6 N-NW, dry with good visibility.
Observer(s): Chris Ingram.

Balearic Shearwater: 1 W
Sooty Shearwater: 1 W
Manx Shearwater: 15 W
Leach's Petrel: 2 W
Great Skua (Bonxie): 5 W
Great Northern Diver: 6 W & 1 E
Fulmar: 13 W
Kittiwake: 3 W
Razorbill: 68 W
Auk sp: 99 W

Location: Brownstown Head, Co. Waterford.
Date: 18th September 2011
Time: 07:55-09:55 & 10:00-11:00
Weather: 4-5 NW, vis excellent to moderate, occasional drizzle.
Observer(s): Jonathan Bulfin & Paul Walsh.

Balearic Shearwater: 3 W
Manx Shearwater: 1 E, 2 W
Gannet: 220 E & 405 W
Common Scoter: 4 E & 8 W
Wigeon: 6 W
Dunlin: 27 E
Great Skua: 1 W
Arctic Skua: 2 W
Kittiwake: 5 E & 85 W
Sandwich Tern: 38 E & 183 W
Arctic Tern: 3 W
Common/Arctic Tern: 2 E & 22 W
Razorbill: 14 W
Guillemot: 4 W
Large auk sp: 2 E & 98 W

Manx almost outnumbered by Balearics! - including 2 very pale-below birds.
Dozens of Swallows also passing W over sea.

Tuesday, 27 September 2011

Seatrack @ Inishbofin

An update on some September seawatching by Anthony McGeehan from Inishbofin, Co. Galway. As with many other west coast seawatching sites at the time, good numbers of Sooty Shearwaters & some Long-tailed Skuas were noted.

Date: 5th September 2011
Time: 08:30-12:00 & 16:15-18:30
Weather: F6-8 W
Observer(s): Anthony McGeehan

Great Shearwater: 3
Sooty Shearwater: 600 (therefore 1,000+ for the whole day)
Manx Shearwater: 2,103
Leach's Petrel: 3
Storm Petrel: 41
Grey Phalarope: 1
Great Skua (Bonxie): 27
Pomarine Skua: 2
Arctic Skua: 3
Long-tailed Skua: 2 adults
Sabine's Gull: 3 adults
Arctic Tern: 24
Puffin: 63
Fulmar: 198
Gannet: 185
Kittiwake: 14
Guillemot: 77
Razorbill: 9

Date: 6th September 2011
Time: 08:30-11:00
Observer(s): Anthony McGeehan

Great Shearwater: 1
Sooty Shearwater: 236
Manx Shearwater: 354
Leach's Petrel: 3
Storm Petrel: 23
Great Skua (Bonxie): 11
Arctic Skua: 1
Sabine's Gull: 2 adults
Arctic Tern: 21 (6 juvs)

Common Dolphin: c.20

Date: 12th September 2011
Time: 09:45-13:00
Weather: F9 SW
Observer(s): Anthony McGeehan

Balearic Shearwater: 1
Sooty Shearwater: 340
Manx Shearwater: 560
Leach's Petrel: 
Storm Petrel: 30
Great Skua (Bonxie): 40
Long-tailed Skua: 3 adults (including one seen on way back from seawatch!)
Puffin: 6
Fulmar: 75
Gannet: 485
Kittiwake: None!
Guillemot: 15
Razorbill: 7

Leatherback Turtle: 1

Date: 13th September 2011
Time: 08:30-11:00
Weather: F7- W-SW
Observer(s): Anthony McGeehan

Sooty Shearwater: 63
Manx Shearwater: 209
Leach's Petrel: 5
Grey Phalarope: 1
Great Skua (Bonxie): 33
Long-tailed Skua: 4 (3 juvs) 
Sabine's Gull: 2 juvs
Arctic Tern: 9
Puffin: 50
Fulmar: 267
Gannet: 465
Kittiwake: 1
Auk sp: 23

Lapland Bunting: 4 in off the sea with 3 on the head itself

Sabine's Gull (Anthony McGeehan)

Monday, 26 September 2011

Seatrack @ Dursey Island

An update on some September seawatching by Derek & Joanna Scott from Dursey Island, Co. Cork. The season has been going pretty well for the guys so far with some nice movements of Sooty Shearwatears & a few treats like Great Shearwater, Long-tailed Skua & Sabine's Gull.

"Herewith the results of our three-hour sea-watches from the tip of Dursey Island on 10th & 17th  September. A south-westerly 6-7 and overcast conditions on 10th produced a good sea-watch by Dursey standards but the sea-watch yesterday (17th) – in a strong north-westerly after a week of westerlies – was outstanding."

Date: 10th September 2011
Time: 08:10-11:40
Weather: F6-7 SW, dry & very good visibility.
Observer(s): Derek A. Scott & Joanna E. Scott.

Great Shearwater: 1 South
Balearic Shearwater: 1 S
Sooty Shearwater: 209 S, 1 North & 100 Milling
Manx Shearwater: 228 S, 1 N & 75 M
Storm Petrel: 21 S
Great Skua (Bonxie): 1 S
Pomarine Skua: 1 S
Arctic Skua: 1 S
Sandwich Tern: 6 S
Common Tern: 7 S
Arctic Tern: 95 S
'Commic' Tern: 13 S
Common Scoter: 2 N
Fulmar: 200 M
Gannet: 2,000 M
Kittiwake: 8 S, 10 N & 4 M
Auk sp: 22 S & 50 M

Common Dolphin: 6
Harbour Porpoise: 5

Date: 17th September 2011 (Seatrack Target Weekend Survey)
Time: 07:30-11:00
Weather: F5-6 NW, one heavy shower & very good visibility.
Observer(s): Derek A. Scott & Joanna E. Scott.

Sooty Shearwater: 1,670 N & 3 S
Manx Shearwater: 46 N
Grey Phalarope: 7 N
Great Skua (Bonxie): 17 N & 5 S
Pomarine Skua: 2 immatures N
Arctic Skua: 2 N & 1 S
Sabine's Gull: 33 N (mostly adults)
Arctic Tern: 875 N
Kittiwake: 52 N & 1 S
Auk sp: 847 N

Mine Whale: 1
Harbour Porpoise: 20

"Most of the terns were pretty far out in large flocks battling northwest into a strong headwind. All that we could see well were Arctic Terns, and I guess that the vast majority, if not all, were Arctic."

"We have been doing sea-watches during the week as well, occasionally from the tip but also from the veranda of our house, which faces due south. Sea-watching from our house is OK in westerly and north-westerly winds, when birds are tracking WNW from the Mizen Head to the tip of Dursey, but the birds are pretty far out and we do not pick up birds heading south or south-west off the tip of Dursey. Today (18th Sept) I put in 3.5 hours (07:30 – 11:00), sitting in the door of our house with my scope wracked up to x60, and recorded the following:"

Sooty Shearwater: 1,158
Manx Shearwater: 6
Great Skua (Bonxie): 14
Arctic Skua: 1
Long-tailed Skua: 1
Sabine's Gull: 7
Arctic Tern: 124
Red-throated Diver: 1

"I guess there would have been a lot more off the tip, but it would have been pretty unpleasant out there, in a near gale from the north-west with heavy squally showers."

Monday, 19 September 2011

Bridges of Ross 19th Sept 2011

Time: 07:25-10:25
Weather: F3-4 W-NW, warm with heavy mist & poor visibility.
Observer(s): Niall T. Keogh & Noel Keogh.

Sooty Shearwater: 2
Storm Petrel: 20
Grey Phalarope: 8
Great Skua (Bonxie): 11
Arctic Skua: 9
Long-tailed Skua: 4 (1 adult & 3 juveniles) 
Sabine's Gull: 49 (13 adults & 36 juveniles)
Little Gull: 2 juv/1st-w
Black Tern: 2 juvs
Sandwich Tern: 23
Arctic Tern: 75
Puffin: 2
Common Scoter: 12
Red-throated Diver: 3
Bar-tailed Godwit: 3

Heavy mist made viewing extremely difficult beyond a few hundred meters. Thankfully most of the skuas & Sab's were in close!

Well folks, that's it from me at The Bridges of Ross for another year. Roll on 2012 and the long-awaited Albatross!!!

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Bridges of Ross 18th Sept 2011

Time: 0700-1940
Weather: F5 N-NW clear & bright but with heavy sea spray. F4-5 NW in the evening, clear & bright again with some lovely light conditions.
Observer(s): Niall T. Keogh, Noel Keogh, Brian Porter, Killian Mullarney, Eanna O'Flynn, Owen Foley, Conor Foley, Donal Foley, Shane Farrell, Mark Stewart, Geoff Oliver, Niall Hatch, Stephen McAvoy, Denis O'Sullivan, Richard Bonser, Tom Tarpey, Tony Mee et al.

Sooty Shearwater: 5
Wilson's Petrel: 2 [1 @ 09:05 (EO'Flynn, MStewart & CFoley) & 1 @ 11:20 (TTarpey)]
Leach's Petrel: 1
Storm Petrel: 8
Grey Phalarope: 19
Great Skua (Bonxie): 54
Pomarine Skua: 2
Arctic Skua: 37
Long-tailed Skua: 16 (3 adults & 13 juvs)
Sabine's Gull: c.170 (c.75% juvs)
Little Gull: 2 juv/1st-w
Sandwich Tern: 12
Arctic Tern: c.500
Puffin: 11
Common Scoter: 2
Red-throated Diver: 7
Great Northern Diver: 1

Bottlenose Dolphin: c.6
Sunfish: 1

A relatively quiet day by recent standards! Sea spray was horrendous early on this morning but some excellent views of really close juvenile Long-tailed Skuas more than made up for it. There was a notable increase in the number of juvenile Sabine's Gulls vs. the number of adult birds seen today. Both Wilson's Petrels were seen whilst I was off swanning around the gardens looking for migrants, which turned out to be a worthwhile exercise as I found a nice 1st-winter Common Rosefinch in Kilbaha village (nice to see some passerines for a change!).

Common Rosefinch (Richard Bonser)