Monday, 25 August 2014

Swinhoe's Storm-petrel @ Bridges of Ross 25th August 2014

Time: 0730-1000 & 1430-1900
Weather: F4 SE, dry & sunny (am), intermittent showers (pm) & good visibility.
Observers: Niall T. Keogh, Neal Warnock, Des Higgins, Peter Gluth, Peter Colston, Sharon Hogan, Andy Marshall, Victor Caschera, Jimmy Dowdall, John Power, Lee Gregory, Stephen Hack, Simon Dennis et al.

Balearic Shearwater: 2
Sooty Shearwater: 6
Manx Shearwater: 90 in 1 hr (am) & up to 2000 in 1 hr (pm)
Swinhoe's Storm-petrel: 1 west @ 18:05 (SHack et al.)
Great Skua (Bonxie): 1
Arctic Skua: 3
Sandwich Tern: 1
Arctic Tern: 7

Loop Head (1330-1815):
Sooty Shearwater: 6
Manx Shearwater: up to 3,000 milling/rafting/passage South
Pomarine Skua: 1
Arctic Skua: 6
Arctic Tern: 10
Sabine's Gull: 1 adult

Another not so classic day of seawatching weather but a milling flock of Manxies moving between The Bridges & Loop Head with Sooties & skuas in attendance gave us something to look at.

The magic moment for those present at The Bridges of Ross in the evening came at 18:05 when UK birder Stephen Hack picked up a Swinhoe's Storm-petrel heading West. The bird was on show for about four minutes allowing seven lucky seawatchers to get onto it. This is the second record of Swinhoe's for The Bridges following one seen here on 15th August 1985 by Tom Tarpey. Not the first time a mega seabird has drifted by here in SE winds either (Fea's & Barolo have done the same) just going to show that the rewards are there for those willing to put in the effort. A great find and a great 400th Irish tick for John Power! Congratulations to all who saw it.

Unfortunately the author was seawatching from the tip of Loop Head at the time. That's what you get for abandoning your post! ;)

Rafting Manxies off Loop Head © Niall Keogh
Nice evening light at Loop Head © Niall Keogh

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