Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Bridges of Ross 12th Sept 2012

Time: 07:00-19:10
Weather: F4 W, overcast, spray & misty at a distance (am). F4-6 N-NW, sunny & spray (pm).
Observer(s): Niall T. Keogh, Noel Keogh, Kris de Rouck, Wout de Rouck, Brian Porter, Jim Bowman, Denis Carty, Jason McManus, Gordon McAdam et al.

Sooty Shearwater: 4
Manx Shearwater: c.300
Fulmar: 250+
Leach’s Petrel: 5
Common Scoter: 3
Light-bellied Brent Goose: 26
Red-throated Diver: 8 summer plumage
Great Skua (Bonxie): 20
Pomarine Skua: 2 juvs.
Arctic Skua: 49
Long-tailed Skua: 1 adult (Jim Bowman)
Sabine’s Gull: 1 juv.
Kittiwake: 35+ incl. 6 juvs.
Arctic Tern: 11
Sandwich Tern: 6
Black Tern: 1 juv.
Grey Phalarope: 13
Puffin: 6

Knot: 1
Whimbrel: 1
Golden Plover: 9
American Golden Plover: 1 adult/2nd cal-year type
Chough: 2
Lapland Bunting: 1

Bottlenose Dolphin: 2+ heading West in the morning.
Harbour Porpoise: 1 heading West in the morning.
Ocean Sunfish: 1

Passage of commoner species such as Manxies, Gannets, Kittiwakes, auks & Fulmars was very poor today but livened up by some nice tallies of Grey Phals & Arctic Skuas along with birds of note such as Black Tern, Leach’s Petrel, Sabine’s Gull & the first juvenile Pomarine Skuas of the season (one of which came past really close...beast of a bird). Unfortunately most of us missed out on the adult Long-tailed Skua whilst at breakfast but always nice to know a four Skua species day was had by some. The American Golden Plover then put in a re-appearance at 18:30pm in the horse field, this time accompanied by 9 Golden Plover and allowing for much better views than the other day (comparison of pics confirms this is indeed the same bird).

This morning’s Harbour Porpoise was my first ever at The Bridges of Ross in 11 years of seawatching here in Aug/Sept so that was cool. The Ocean Sunfish was also the biggest I’ve ever laid eyes on, perhaps as much as 3m long! So all in all, a good day for ‘Marine Megafauna’ too.

Monster Sunfish with Great Black-backed Gull in tow! © Niall Keogh

American Golden Plover © Niall Keogh

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