Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Not a bad day to be out

The Safari endured a cool wind off the sea this morning but there was some interest to keep us motivated.
The general theme for this morning was southerly movement. Three Manx Shearwaters arced gracefully past and three single Gannets cruised by. A lone Razorbill was identified but we had a few other unidentified auks. Two distant Kittiwakes and several Sandwich Terns kept us searching and we picked up a couple of Arctic Terns in the near middle distance. Close by a pair of Eiders whizzed past and we found a Red Throated Diver which was difficult to get on due to the waves and swell. 
We went in for our brew quite happy with that but wondered what MJ and the others had seen from their watch point a few hundred yards further down but at the time of tapping this rubbish out on the keyboard they hadn't posted on the Bird Club's website.
At lunchtime the tide had dropped a fair bit but there wasn't much on the beach. Out at sea it was a different story. We scanned the empty horizon until we came across a cluster of swirling Manx Shearwaters, difficult to count but we got at least eight, could have been twice as many. They were at a bait-ball with some Kittiwakes and what were probably Sandwich Terns. no Arctic Skua though. We then noticed a dark spot in the waves directly in front of them - a Grey Seal. First we've seen for a week or so. A very close Kittiwake was then seen and a pair of Eiders flew past, a little later we saw another more distant pair which may or may not have been the same two.
Two adult Little Gulls then went past in the middle distance away to the Grey Seal's left and in front of them we thought we saw another seal much closer in, we watched and waited for it to reappear but when it did it wasn't a seal but two Harbour Porpoises which then showed several times just behind the surf - excellent!
Shame about the dead one that was reported washed up at the weekend somewhere near Chat Alley.
A few more diving Sandwich Terns made up the rest of the rather enjoyable and warm(ish) watch. The sun was nice but the wind was still on the chilly side and we required gloves and our woolly hat, the elderly chap that walked past us without his shirt on obviously thought differently - first naked torso  of the year! 
Where to next? More of the same tomorrow would be nice but could we have that Arctic Skua now please.
In the meantime let us know who thinks its warm enough in your outback.

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