Friday, 7 October 2011

Wknd 8-9 Oct

Towards dusk on Saturday, in miserable weather, an adult Little Gull having a preen on Seton shore at Wrecked Craigs (rare here, my second Seton record in 8 yrs!), and a 1st-win Med in a quick look at Seton roost. Also at Wrecked Craigs, Shag green-SPJ, ringed as a chick on the Isle of May on 12/6/08 and seen previously Oct 08 an Sept/Oct 09 (photo below). At noon 30 Barnacle Geese N over Longniddry primary, then 4 more NE - poor visibility.

At usual patch at Port Seton on Friday afternoon, but limited to 90 mins (daughter's ballet class!), a lot to see - on Wrecked Craigs, Shags included red-LLZ (ad f, ringed as chick Isle of May 19/7/05, previously here 8,18,30/8/09) and 100+ Golden Plover were all European.

Caught sight of an unusual jizz seabird moving away into Forth, smallish with dark mantle but white below, very buoyant flight, then dipping and occasional plunge revealed it was Black Tern; further sightings over the period of presumably same bird eventually gave better views (first for patch!).

Meanwhile virtually every fresh scan of the Forth, in crystal clear visibility, was picking up more skuas heading W, some nice views of mainly dark Arctics, one Bonxie, close in, but most resolutely ploughing up the Forth mid-channel - a few Bonxies in particular at some height, max group four. A juv Pom gave reasonable views not too far offshore, noticeably so much more bulky than the dark Arctic just behind in, whilst a couple of bulky pale adult skuas mid-channel likely also this species. Total for the periods was 41W (17 Arctic, 12 Bonxie), plus 1 Bonxie E (full counts). [Would be interesting to compare with Hound Point for the full day, at these rates several hundred would be possible!]. Also one Manx Shearwater went west, well out.

Sunday - more yapping heard, no surprise with so many Barnies at Aberlady (3200), not to mention another 1200 at Tyninghame - I guess this is a record influx (beating e.g. 2300 Tyninghame, 630 Aberlady, 379 Barns Ness on 30 September 2009)?

Blackbird in extended periods of subsong.

40 swans Muirton-East Fenton (from train) were intriguing, with no Mutes on last week's goose circuit - will have to check out to see if they are the vanguard of the Whoopers. Incidentally East Fenton 5-yr average for this species has now reached 212, thus it becomes a site of international importance (per latest WeBS report)!

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