Friday, 29 August 2014

Bridges of Ross 29th August 2014

Time: 0630-1900
Weather: F6 WSW (am) turning F5-6 W (pm). Largely dry with some intermittent light showers. Visibility good to poor at times.
Observers: Niall T. Keogh, Neal Warnock, Victor Caschera, Jimmy Dowdall, Eamonn MacLochlainn, John Power, Lee Gregory, Tom Buckley, Ger Murray, Tom Tarpey, Des Higgins, Brian Porter, Tom Shevlin, Hugh Delaney, Aidan Moore, Dave Branagh, Bernie Sheridan, Dave Fox et al.

Common Scoter: 3
Red-throated Diver: 1 breeding plumage
'Blue' Fulmar: 1 'D'
Cory's Shearwater: 1 @ 0635
Great Shearwater: 7
Sooty Shearwater: c.185
Manx Shearwater: up to 30,000
European Storm-petrel: 13
Leach's Storm-petrel: 3
Great Skua (Bonxie): 26
Pomarine Skua: 4
Arctic Skua: 9
Puffin: 3
Sandwich Tern: 16
Arctic Tern: c.85
Sabine's Gull: 43 (41 adult-types & 2 juveniles)
Little Gull: 3 juvenile/1st-winter

Whimbrel: 20

Grey Seal: 1
Ocean Sunfish: 1

REDEMPTION! Winds from the West producing the goods with a seawatch which has made the past weeks effort in testing conditions all the worthwhile for many present. 

A Cory's which slinked out of a trough in among the close Manxie line early doors was a welcome Irish tick for Neal (serious bogey bird for a hardened salty seawatcher!). Manx Shearwaters were absolutely piling through from the get go, with 4,500 logged in the first hour and 2,000+ per hour for much of the day after. The presence of a large raft of milling birds later in the evening muddled the counts up a bit but by that stage we were on a comfortable 25,000! And what's more they were showing very well. I haven't seen a passage like this here for a good ten years so definitely a real highlight of the day for sure. Large shearwaters are a treat at The Bridges at the best of times (not like Galley Head!) so several of the Greats which showed well at close range were most appreciated. 

What The Bridges does do well for however is Sabine's Gulls and they certainly didn't disappoint. A single flock of 10 adults which showed ridiculously well just off the point was a sight to behold (with lots of smiling faces in the assembled crowd to be seen after they passed). Whilst the numbers of other species might not have been as high as hoped for there was still some great variety throughout the day. A good year-listers seawatch! Red-throated Diver, Leach's Petrel & Little Gull were all firsts of the season for the site.

Here's a bunch of iPhone-scoped pics to give you a flavour of the day...

Sabine's Gull © Niall Keogh
Sabine's Gulls © Niall Keogh
Sabine's Gulls © Niall Keogh
Sooty Shearwater © Niall Keogh
Pomarine Skua © Niall Keogh
Seawatchers © Niall Keogh

1 comment:

  1. Hi Niall, nice tallies today. The photographs are actually excellent!