Sunday, 4 October 2009

Forth entry

Tried seawatching off Seacliff again (after modest success last year with several Bonxies seen heading past into the Forth, all inside the Bass Rock, LBN report). Rather different today in very calm bright conditions, with plenty of skuas seen but only the Arctics coming inside the Bass Rock. Full counts (14:00-17:10hrs):

* RTD - 10N (including group of 7), 2 on sea
* GND - 1N
* Diver sp. - 1N (large)
* Shag - 85N, including 1 blue darvic (Isle of May) juv, plus one red darvic (Forth Islands) juv amongst 50 on rocks
* Cormorant 2N, 1S
* Grey Heron 1N (well offshore, going into Forth behind Bass Rock)
* Barnacle Goose - 10 in-off, over sea from NE
* Pinkfoot - 26 W
* Mallard - 12N
* Teal - f on sea
* Eider - 110N
* Velvet Scoter - 4N
* Bonxie - 18N (singles and 5 x 2), plus 1S, 2 on sea
* Pomarine Skua - 6N (2,1,1,2, latter including an intermediate bird, all other pale ads with spoons; all passed into Forth behind Bass Rock)
* Arctic Skua - 3W (all pale ads; all proceeded into Forth inside Bass Rock)
* Skua sp. - 3N
* Kittiwake - not counted but steady passage N, c. 100/hr, and feeding flocks of 180 and 40 well offshore

Occasionally the Bonxies indulged in a bit of chasing, once putting up nearly 1000 Gannets and one clearly had caught something in the sea, but most proceeded throo unwavering. On the Bass Rock itself at least 80 young Gannets still visible.

On way back found 2 Whoopers in stubble N of Rattlebags Quarry off the Kingston Road, and in the gloom at Aberlady 40 mins after sunset treated to the terrific sound of 20k+ Pinkfeet assembling for roost; scoping out from the gate at S of Kilspindie soon spotted the white phase Snow Goose, fortunately one of the nearest birds, taking a drink from the west side of the Peffer Burn.

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