Wednesday, 29 August 2012

North Westerlies return @ Bridges of Ross 29th August 2012

Time: 06:50-08:50 & 13:00-19:30
Weather: F4-6 SW, heavy showers & poor visibility (am). F4 W later F5-6 NW, sunny, some light showers, spray (pm).
Observer(s): Niall T. Keogh, Alan Clewes, Neal Warnock, Andy Clifton, Malcolm Goodman, Geoff Clewes, John Cooper, Dave Cooper et al.

Great Shearwater: 2
Balearic Shearwater: 2
Sooty Shearwater: 107
Manx Shearwater: c.3,200
Fulmar: c.1,400
‘Blue’ Fulmar: 1 intermediate
Leach’s Petrel: 11
Storm Petrel: 17
Common Scoter: 1 male
Red-throated Diver: 1 summer plumage
Great Skua (Bonxie): 15
Pomarine Skua: 1 pale subadult
Arctic Skua: 18
Sabine's Gull: 11 (8 adults, a 2nd cal-year type & 2 juvs)
Little Gull: 1 juv./1st-winter
Kittiwake: 53 incl. 26 juvs.
Arctic Tern: 20
Sandwich Tern: 11
Puffin: 5
Razorbill/Guillemot: 750+

Light-bellied Brent Goose: 2 
Wigeon: 4
Teal: 3
Tufted Duck: 1
Whimbrel: 6
Redshank: 10

Common Dolphin: 3
Leatherback Turtle: 1 surfaced eight times @ 07:15am

The weather became so horrendous this morning that trying to see any birds was near impossible, and the fact that there were none out there to begin with called for an early breakfast! The forecast was for the winds to turn West then North West in the afternoon, the effect of which was apparent almost straight away at lunchtime with a decent Manxie stream interspersed by regular Sooties (today’s tally of which was the first triple figure count of the season). Leach’s, Sab’s & Great Shears were the highlight but only the Leach’s showed well (the Great Shears & Sab’s were typically distant). The constant passage of Fulmars, first sightings of ‘Blue’ Fulmar, Little Gull & Light-bellied Brent Goose, good numbers of Auks and several species of duck all hinted that Autumn proper is well and truly on it’s way.

It felt as if a Long-tailed Skua or something rarer was going to pass by at any stage this afternoon but still, the first real North West wind & associated passage of the season is not to be snuffed at! Great views of the Puffins today also.

Bridges of Ross seawatchers  © Niall Keogh
Bonxie overhead! © Niall Keogh
Pale phase Arctic Skua © Niall Keogh

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