Monday, September 28, 2020

End of the Northerlies...

 Yesterday morning was spent in our usual positions eyes screwed into the scope, facing east.

From the left - Sam the dog, the nicest, most well behaved seawatching company you could have, Sam's dad, Mark Eaton and John Rutter. My scope is in the middle...In the background you can see the Sooty Tern cliffs...

 Cullernose is getting a bit of a reputation these days, at one point there were six observers looking at the sea. That is a record number of birders here when there has been nothing to twitch ( the Sooty Tern will never be beaten on that score).

The wind had dropped significantly to a NW4 from the last two days making watching much more comfortable. We watched from 7am - 12 noon with the following results.

Sooty Shearwaters again took pride of place with 407+ N you could never get an accurate number as they are passing all the time often at long range. 

Manx Shearwater 6 N

Storm Petrel 1 N close in, a great bird for here and my first since the 2011 influx.

Bonxie 6 N

Arctic Skua 1 N

Barnacle Geese 254 N inc a strikingly leucistic individual.

Barnacle Geese with the leucistic 'snow' goose with them...

Pale bellied Brent Geese 18 N
Wigeon 236 N
Teal 24 N
Common Scoter 70 N
Velvet Scoter 4 males N
Goldeneye 5 N 
Eider 6 N
Great Northern Diver 4 N
Red throated Diver 10 N 13 S
Purple Sandpiper 1
Bar tailed Godwit 4 
Knot 2
Puffin 3
Sandwich Tern 3 N
Mediterranean Gull 1 ad w 

By the time we left the sea was calming off and the sky was brightening up. 

Adult summer (top) and juv Great Northern Divers.

Back home and the sun was shining so I needed to cut the grass. It is quite warm after being stuck on the cliff all morning, very pleasant. I had just finished and was putting the mower in the shed when I heard a single call in the large sycamore at our gable - 'tisswsp'. A Yellow browed Warbler. I dashed for my bins and camera and waited. A Chiffchaff and 2 Goldcrests showed but no sibe. I still get excited about these little birds and see them as rare but younger birders must just see them as common migrants these days. In fact they are the most reliable of our autumn passage birds, being easier to catch up with than Garden Warbler or Tree Pipit these days.

After about 20 mins or so a small bird flitted from the sallow I had planted just for this occasion, into the taller sycamore I was watching. That was it. Although tricky to see in the browning wilted leaves it gave short views for about 5 mins before it vanished. I managed a few shots...

A tiny Yellow browed Warbler graces our garden. It really is autumn...

Now that October is rapidly approaching fingers crossed for some easterlies...

1 comment:

Fleetwood Bird Observatory said...

I know what you mean Stewart about younger birders not seeing YBWs as rare. It's the same with Little Egret and Cetti's Warbler, dead common now, but they still turn my head!