What a year this has been for seawatching. Last year was appalling with only about two or three days between July and October that were any good, this year its relentless.
As usual, sticking to my priorities, Boulmer first. Strong N6, overcast, cold. Two visits totalling 2hrs had -
Again, all north unless stated.
Common Scoter 52
Velvet Scoter 3
Dark bellied Brent 6
Pale bellied Brent 8
Red breasted Merganser 3
Red throated Diver 3
Sooty Shearwater 25
Manx Shearwater 6
Arctic Skua 1 S
Long tailed Skua 3 juvs, one very close in loitering off the village for ten minutes.
Arctic Tern 3
Sandwich Tern 4
I managed a short visit to Newbiggin for 50 minutes this morning. Now, thats a different class of seawatching, no wonder there was a line of about 8 people staked out. Birds, mainly wildfowl, were flooding past in good numbers very close in. A flock of 40 Brents came over our heads! Some strange banter was heard amongst the observers...
Cries of "There's a zillion ducks coming through..." and "There's a multitude of scoters..." from ADMc ( How many noughts does a multitude have?, and what does a zillion + a multitude equal? )Then Mr Cleeves commenting that " I've got the gulars!" when discussing some cormorants resulted in someone falling off their stool.
Anyway, back to the totals. Compare this 'hour' to Boulmer's two.
Dark bellied Brent 4
Pale bellied Brent 49
Red breasted Merganser 2
Common Scoter 152+
Velvet Scoter 5
Great Northern Diver 1
Red throated Diver 2
Little Gull 1
Sooty Shearwater 4
Manx Shearwater 2
Pomarine Skua 1 juv very close in.
Long tailed Skua 1 juv
Sabine's Gull 1 juv watched well for 20 minutes dip feeding offshore. At one point the Long tailed Skua harried it before the gull briefly retaliated! An excellent size comparison.
Not a bad hour... the final days total from the combined observers must have been something special.
PS There will be no further updates till Monday...