Friday, September 04, 2015

Picking up...

After last nights meagre offerings of the pelagic kind, the wind got up overnight, so, I set the alarm to get me up early so I could catch an hour facing east before heading off to work.

I arrived at my seawatching spot at 6.00am and was in position and counting by 6.10. The wind was a moderate NNW5 decreasing, it was overcast with odd drizzly squalls coming in, reducing visibility.

Although it was no classic, there were clearly more birds on the move than yesterday. I watched until 7.15am, noting the following. -

Brent Geese 5N
Wigeon 39N
Teal 71N
Pintail 2N
Common Scoter 4N
Goosander 1N
Manx Shearwater 5N
Sooty Shearwater 1N
Puffin 1N
Red throated Diver 4N
Sandwich Tern 26N
Arctic Skua 2N

I put my gear back in the car and climbed in ready to drive off. It was now that I noticed a whirring sound? Hold on, I thought, that's the heating fan. I had only turned the ignition part way off, leaving the fan to nicely flatten the battery! Craster is not a good place to be stranded as there is no mobile phone signal at all due to the geology of the area. Luckily I caught the attention of a kind couple who let me into their home to use the land line.

To cut a long story short, after a bit of a faff, a mechanic from Alnwick ( that must be a Limerick somewhere) came to the rescue with a boost charger and had the car going in 10 seconds.

While he was gathering paperwork for me to sign, two birds caught my eye close in going north, lifting Kittiwakes all over - it was the 2 Arctic Skuas. First ones seen this year after a two month delay. I would have missed them if the car had worked properly :)

138. Sooty Shearwater
139. Pintail
140. Arctic Skua

These three patch additions leave my score at a clean 100% of last years total, so every new bird from now is a bonus. I wonder what will be next....?

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