Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Bridges of Ross 6th Sept 2011

Time: 0645-1930
Weather: F6-7(8) W, with light showers at times but dry for the most part with variable lighting conditions. Turning F6 W-NW in early evening with misty spray.
Observer(s): Niall T. Keogh, Brian Porter, Mike Blaver, Paul Troake, John N. Murphy, Brian Finnegan, Dermot O'Mahony, Keith Langdon, Reg Land, Dave Farrow, Paul Moore, Denis O'Sullivan & John Power.

Great Shearwater: 4
Balearic Shearwater: 4
Sooty Shearwater: 4,500+
Manx Shearwater: 10,000+
Blue Fulmar: 2
Wilson's Petrel: 1 (JNMurphy)
Leach's Petrel: 21
Storm Petrel: c.80
Great Skua (Bonxie): 83 (including several juveniles)
Pomarine Skua: 12 (all pale phase)
Arctic Skua: 44
Long-tailed Skua: 2 adults (NTKeogh)
Sabine's Gull: 73 (63 adults/adult-types, 7 2nd cal-years & 3 juveniles)
Black Tern: 1 adult & 1 juvenile
Sandwich Tern: 4
Common Tern: 2 juveniles
Arctic Tern: 261
Common Scoter: 1 male
Great Northern Diver: 1 juvenile
Puffin: 43
Whimbrel: 14 

A fantastic day to say the least, with an Arctic flavour which is to be expected from a September seawatch. Birds were piling through thick & fast throughout the morning, with the typical afternoon lull followed by a nice second rush in the evening. Counts of Sooties, Manxies & Stormies are considered to be an underestimate if anything as it wasn't possible to keep an accurate count of them whilst also trying to get a look in at all the Leach's, Sab's & skuas passing by at close range. Needless to say, the Sabine's Gulls were mind blowing! Most moved through in the afternoon/evening, with some really nice flocks seen close inshore (a mixed flock of 2 adult Sab's, 7 Arctic Terns & the adult Black Tern was particularly tasty). Large numbers of Arctic Terns are always a good indicator for Sab's as well as Long-tailed Skua, of which two adults sailed by late in the evening just before we packed up to leave, capping off the day nicely!

Lovely bit of weather for a seawatch! (Niall Keogh)

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