Thursday, 14 July 2011

Seawatching season begins .. (almost)

Strong N and NW winds overnight gave me some hope that there may be some seabirds passing today and with a day off work I headed up to the Cley shelter.

At around 9am a few Gannets were passing. Mostly immature birds (sub adult) heading west. A close Bonxie and very distant Arctic Skua were my first of the year. Also new for year for me was a distant Manx Shearwater and another Skua in mid distance looked bulky but did not come close enough to be clinched as a Pom. A summer plum Bar T Godwit, Whimbrel and 70+ close Com Scoter were the only other birds of note in 30min Seawatch

It is always strange seawatching on your own rather than in the big groups such as those at Sherringham. You start to think 'What if an Albatross was to pass now' .. Would anyone believe it !? Would you start to imagine that you did not see it? .. Seeing as there was just about as much chance of winning the Euromillions lottery .. I did not have to worry too much about the consequences.

The highlight of the day was the number of returning waders seen from North Hide:
Stunning adult sum plum Curlew Sandpiper
juv Sanderling
juv LRPlover
many Dunlin - mostly adults (1 juv)

A Hobby flew away in distance, 1 YL Gull was picked out and 15 Spoonbill were gracing Simmond's scrape (again seen in distance from N Hide only)
This must be the largest number I have seen but staring to lose count of largest flocks.

All in all , a good taster of the autumn migrants that are just around the corner.

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