At Patch 2 the tide was falling but at least by now the rain had eased. Not a lot on the beach, plenty of Herring Gulls but only small numbers of Lesser Black Backs and Black Headed Gulls, not a single juvenile of these so its looking like they might have had a calamitous breeding season, at least locally.
A Cormorant sat on the beach drying its wings looking as prehistoric as they get, not a common sight along this stretch of beach, they usually roost in numbers a mile or so to the south a good bit off our patch. Poorly digiscoped in the gloom.
Out in the distance the sea was quiet with just a few small flocks of Common Scoter flying about. Then we got on something a little more interesting, a brown long winged thing careening between the waves. Winding the mag on the scope up a notch or two we ‘got in front’ of it and waited…nothing happened; where had it gone? Going back to wide angle view we picked it up again not far from where it was first seen but this time at great height – our second Arctic Skua of the season was giving a young gull some serious aerobatic grief. We watched the excellent but one sided dog-fight unfold until either the gull gave up its meal or the skua gave up because the gull didn’t have a meal to give – couldn’t really tell at that range. The skua then glided (should that be glid?) back down to the waves a mile or so away in a shallow dive without so much as a flicker of its wings. With nothing else happening and rain in the air – that makes a refreshing change!!! - we called it a morning.
A trip to the shops on the milk run gave us a Grey Wagtail, another first for the season.
Lunchtime on Patch 2 was useless with more rain coming on the breeze. A Sandwich Tern was sat on the beach with a two others a little further down and yet again a Collared Dove landed on the wall close to us then shot off northwards over the beach, so are they/is it a local bird or movers?
Then it was a quick lunch and back to the rockpools with a gaggle of loud and excited youngsters.
We found this vertebra on the strandline - it's about six inches (15cm) across - any ideas anyone? the circular disc in the middle is about an inch (25mm) in diameter and doesn't have a hole through the middle so we doubt if it's a mammal.Side on it has strange protrusions.