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."

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