Sunday, 21 August 2011

Bridges of Ross 21st August 2011

Time: 06:30-19:00
Weather: F2-3 W-NW with light showers in the morning.

Barolo's Shearwater: 1 heading west at 08:45 (Dave Cooper)
Great Shearwater: 38
Sooty Shearwater: 512
Manx Shearwater: c.10,000
Storm Petrel: c.25
Great Skua (Bonxie): 21
Arctic Skua: 23
Long-tailed Skua: 2 adults (Niall T Keogh & Dan Brown)
Sabine's Gull: 8 adults
Mediterranean Gull: 1 3rd cal-year
Sandwich Tern: 11
Arctic Tern: 52
Puffin: c.12
Black Guillemot: 1
Common Scoter: 2
Whimbrel: 48

Common Dolphin: 2
Bottlenose Dolphin: c.6

Unfortunately the Barolo's Shear evaded all but the finder but otherwise it was an excellent day given the strength of the wind. Most likely the strong SW winds from the day before pushed birds in from the Atlantic with today's NW moving them closer to the coast. Some of the Great Shearwaters showed exceptionally well & were in quite good condition with nice fresh plumage. One Great Shear was fairly ragged along the trailing edge of the wing & on the primaries suggesting that is was a bird of a different age (a study on Great Shearwaters killed by long-lining off south west Ireland has suggested that the majority of birds in our waters may be adult males).

The Clare Branch of BirdWatch Ireland were also present this morning for their annual seawatch outing as part of Heritage Week. They were lucky in that a Great Shearwater flew past at very close range soon after they arrived! Furthermore, this morning also coincided with a BirdWatch Ireland Seatrack survey date so there were plenty of Manxies to be counted! Seatrack surveys will continue throughout the course of the autumn from headlands right around the country so watch this space for more updates from the project as the season progresses.

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