Friday, 24 August 2012

Bridges of Ross 24th August 2012

Time: 06:45-11:00 & 13:00-18:30
Weather: F3 E-SE, overcast, mild & good vis. F3 E-NE, overcast, cool & excellent vis (pm).
Observer(s): Niall T. Keogh, Alan Clewes, Dan Pointon, Paul Flint, Cory Flint, Jan Nordblad, Tom Nordblad, Peter Gluth, Lee Gregory, Joe Adamson, Jim Sheehan, Steve Webb et al.

Balearic Shearwater: 4
Sooty Shearwater: 54
Manx Shearwater: 2,700+
Fulmar: 240+
Storm Petrel: 24
Common Scoter: 1 male
Great Skua (Bonxie): 6
Pomarine Skua: 2 adult pale phase
Arctic Skua: 10
Sabine’s Gull: 2 adults
Kittiwake: 36 incl. 15 juvs.
Sandwich Tern: 2
Arctic Tern: 16
Black Tern: 2 juvs.
Puffin: 10

Whimbrel: 4
Dunlin: c.90
Sanderling: 1
Ringed Plover: 1
Knot: 3

Common Dolphin: 12+ in the evening.
Bottlenose Dolphin: 2+ in the morning.
Ocean Sunfish: 1

Terrible wind direction didn't install much hope in us but a nice flock of c.2,000 Manxies went through this morning with a load of Sooties & the 4 Balearics which spurred us on to continue seawatching for the day. The afternoon & evening failed to produce however! Star birds included a couple of full spooned Poms that went by in the middle of the day. A couple of distant Sab's eluded most of us unfortunately whilst some compensation was provided by the 2nd & 3rd cal-year Glaucous Gulls which were still present around Kilbaha.

As an aside, the 24th of August is said to have the highest number of Fea's-type Petrel sightings from the Bridges of Ross. As such it has been dubbed as "Holy St. Fea's Day" by some local birders.

...we saw no Fea's-type Petrels today.

3rd cal-year Glaucous Gull © Niall Keogh
A wrecked juv. Gannet was present in Kilbaha harbour © Niall Keogh 
All efforts to try & wake Dan failed miserably © Niall Keogh 
The Black Pearl appeared on the horizon line this evening! © Niall Keogh 

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