Saturday 24 September 2016

Saturday 24th September

An eventful day kicked off with a 3-hour sea-watch which produced totals of 215 Gannet, 55 Common Scoter, 29 Kittiwake, six Razorbill, five Sandwich Tern, three Common Tern, and two each of Sooty Shearwater, Balearic Shearwater and Manx Shearwater; all south  A Storm Petrel flew into the bay and a Black Tern showed well offshore for a while, before giving up its battle with the stiff southerly wind and disappeared north.  An inshore dark phase Arctic Skua was a rare sight in having commenced inner wing moult.

Too windy for bushes and overhead passage, noted were only three Swallow, two Rook, single Stock Dove, Raven, Grey Wagtail and a Goldcrest.

On the lunchtime neap high tide around, mostly around The Bight, totals were 517 Dunlin, 337 Curlew, 250+ Great Black-backed Gull, 82 Knot, 138 Ringed Plover, 54 Grey Plover, 49 Brent Goose, 35 Bar-tailed Godwit, 18 Sanderling, 15+ Lesser Black-backed Gull, four adult-winter Mediterranean Gull, four juv Curlew Sandpiper, three Black-tailed Godwit and single juv Little Stint and Greenshank.  A flock of 110 Linnet flitted among the roosting waders.  Spooked by incessant kite-surfer activity, displaced wildfowl swelled numbers sheltering in the estuary corner to 1,710 Wigeon, 344 Teal and four Pintail.

At 11:30, a juvenile presumed American Herring Gull flew low across The Bight with other gulls, over the spit and then coasted SW out of sight.  Despite it's distinctive appearance, with relatively short flight only views, identification could not be verified.  A gull of similar appearance on Bull Hill last Wednesday evening offers a glimmer of hope of a return.

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