Tuesday 18 March 2014

18th March 2014

Weather:- SW force 3/4, later WNW force 6/7 gusting to gale force, showers
Strong westerlies made sea watching the priority again this morning, and while many seabirds were seen, most were at distance. The totals from the log were 12 Red-throated divers, 11 Gannets, 23 Little Gulls (mostly tracking west out towards the wind farms), 14 Kittiwakes, 25 Guillemots, 8 Great Crested Grebes and 3 Red-breasted Mergansers. Common Scoters seemed to be everywhere on the sea in mostly small parties, although about 200 were off to the north west at one stage. Two dark-bellied Brent were present today, whereas only 1 has been recorded for many weeks now.
Cormorant at the island pond  (CJ)
 Also increased in numbers were Purple Sandpipers when 10 were found on the rock ledges at the north end as the tide spray lashed the area. Small passerines were few, although about 150 Meadow Pipits came in from the sea over the tide, 5 Pied wagtails called over and a single Chaffinch was in the obs garden this morning. A Peregrine flew between the islands this morning and then was seen with prey south of Middle. A ringed Cormorant was the latest unusual visitor to the main island pond.
(DB,CJ,KMc+SD, et al)

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