Saturday, 20 March 2010
Splash Point 20 March
with a strong wind coming from the S/SE today, my first spring seawatch was fairly good, though others have reported greater variety and numbers in the past week. Also at Splash Point today were Bob Self, Geoff Gowlett and two other birders whose names I don't know. The highlights, from 06:30-09:00, were 300 or so Brent Geese (with flocks of 100 and 120 flying very close inshore), around 30 Common Scoter and 25 Red-throated Diver, 2 Mediterranean Gulls, 2 Great Crested Grebes, 2 Pintail, 4 Eider, 1 Whimbrel, 20 or so Gannets, 3 Shelduck, 1 Whimbrel, 1 unidentified diver, and nice performances from the resident Rock Pipits, Peregrines and Kittiwakes. No sign of the Black Redstart reported here recently. All the seabirds were passing east, while 4 Meadow Pipits came in off the sea. None of the hoped for Sandwich Tern and Garganey, although I still got two year ticks, Eider and Whimbrel. Many of the birds seen passed cose inshore, with good views of most of the brents, the two Pintails, several summer-plumaged Red-throated Divers and the Eider. A good day, though well down on Thursday, when other birders reported a Red-necked Grebe, a Black-necked Grebe, larger numbers of Scoter (including one Velvet), a few Little Gulls and Sandwich Terns, and almost 800 Brent Geese.