Friday, 21 July 2017

Friday 21st July 2017

We do what we do to live for days like today, by far the best summer sea-watch here ever.  An unseasonal 993mb depression centred over southern Ireland produced 40 kt SSW winds all morning.  Apart from 3-4 hours during the heaviest downpours, sea-watching spanned 05:30 - 20:30 and the few resilient observers that remained were well rewarded with 33 Cory’s Shearwater (15 before 07:00), eight Great Shearwater (3 before 07:00) and three large shearwaters; a Sooty Shearwater, a Balearic Shearwater and 802 Manx Shearwater - the first time the site has recorded the five regular shearwaters in one day.  The two previous records for each of the two large shearwaters involving one or two birds were well eclipsed by today’s events.

A flock of six Pomarine Skua (some spooned) flew S distantly in the evening. Also through the day four Arctic Skua, three Great Skua, a juv Yellow-legged Gull, eight Mediterranean Gull (ss, fs, 6 juv), 120 Sandwich Tern (including a bird ringed in Wales) and a Roseate Tern, which was in the estuary at dawn then periodically seen to make repeated but failed attempts to disperse S during the morning; it was later re-found on Finger Point resting.

The moulting Red-throated Diver remained close offshore; 36 Fulmar, four Storm Petrel, 248 Gannet, 156 Common Scoter, one flock joined by an unseasonal Teal, 12 Whimbrel, two Curlew and a Swift were at sea.

During the evening high tide, counts were 11 Grey Plover, 14 Ringed Plover, another 19 Whimbrel, another 300 Curlew, 12 Bar-tailed Godwit, 29 Turnstone,  two Knot, four Sanderling, a noticeable increase of 194 Dunlin, 89 Redshank, five Greenshank and in the corner seen from the train, a Kingfisher.

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