Monday, 21 February 2011

Splash Point-the one that got away

With the wind coming from the SE, I thought I might try a scouting trip down to Splash Point this afternoon to see what was about. in 50 minutes between 13.30 and 14.20, 51 Brent Geese moved East, in groups of 6, 41 and 4. 13 Gannets went the same way in twos and threes, and six Red-breasted Merganser going east pretty close in (they were 2 males and 4 females) was a nice surprise that made for a pretty worthwhile excursion. In the opposite direction, a Great Crested Grebe passed fairly distantly, I was secretly hoping for a Red-necked but it was too long-necked and slender looking. Residents included 3 Cormorants, 10+ Fulmar and 300+ Kittiwake offshore, a flyby Peregrine and a singing Rock Pipit, with two others nearby. However, the would-be highlight was a probable Skua species. A dark bird, chasing a Kittiwake, with long wings, a slender body and a very agile flight. It looked pretty good for an Arctic Skua, but I don't see skua's all that often, and this bird was only on view for a few seconds before it disappeared behind a wave. Slightly hypocratically, I'd probably count it in April, but they're far more unusual (though not unheard of) at this time of year, so that brief glimpse wasn't quite enough to nail it.
very bad photo of Splash Point's kittiwakes, taken today

marginally better photo of Splash Point's Kittiwakes,
taken in July

edit: I have also updated the Gazeteer now to include Hope Gap/Seaford Head

1 comment:

  1. Hi Liam,

    Well done on a good day's seawatching, I must say you are very lucky to have so many Brent Geese in your area - here in Aberdeenshire we occasionally get them on passage off the sea during the autumn, but apart from that we hardly get them! It's good to see that your keeping up your great quality of writing, and I will continue to read and give feedback on your blog when you post.

    Can I ask, how do you get the reactions box below your posts? I would like to use it on my blog you see. If you know it would be very much appreciated if you told me on my blog.

    Good birding and looking forward to reading more,



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