Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Bridges of Ross 11th Sept 2012

Time: 06:50-18:00
Weather: F5 NW, good vis, overcast & showers (am). F5 NW later F4 W-NW, bright & light showers (pm).
Observer(s): Niall T. Keogh, Noel Keogh, Kris de Rouck, Wout de Rouck, Brian Porter, Tom Kilbane & Eamonn MacLochlainn.   

Sooty Shearwater: 14
Manx Shearwater: max. 750
Fulmar: c.475 (am)
Leach’s Petrel: 8
Storm Petrel: 1
Gannet: c.1,300 incl. 1% juvs. (am)
Common Scoter: 2
Light-bellied Brent Goose: 54
Red-throated Diver: 7
Grey Phalarope: 6
Great Skua (Bonxie): 28
Pomarine Skua: 1 pale subadult
Arctic Skua: 23
Sabine’s Gull: 2 adults & 2 juvs.
Little Gull: 1 juv./1st-w
Kittiwake: c.270 incl. 15% juvs. (am)
Lesser Black-backed Gull: 1 adult & 1 juv.
Arctic Tern: 16
Sandwich Tern: 10
Guillemot/Razorbill: c.1,900 (am)
Puffin: 3

Chough: 23
Lapland Bunting: 1

Bottlenose Dolphin: c.10 heading West in the evening.

After checking the forecast last night, we were hopeful that a good passage was due today given the NW winds but they largely failed to deliver. In fairness, we did have some really great views of Leach’s, Sab’s & skuas but the overall passage intensity was very slack, almost nil in the afternoon. The reality of it all was that the winds were blowing down directly from Iceland and not sweeping far enough out into the Atlantic before reaching Ireland, as a ‘classic’ low pressure would. The Arctic origin of these winds was definitely reflected in today’s species list & counts with the highest numbers of auks & Kittiwakes so far this season plus a few Grey Phals, Little Gull, Brent Geese etc.

Lapland Bunting © Niall Keogh
A small flock of Great Black-backed Gulls were tucking into some barnacles/mussels attached to a floating plank! © Niall Keogh

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