Sunday, 18 September 2011
The Great Gannet Getaway
My seawatch started at about 6.30 and ended at 8ish, there was loads out there considering it was a calm sea and an offshore wind, most notably Gannets and winter ducks, these almost certainly were the result of the strong winds. It was interesting that I saw a lot of Gannets, terns, Divers and sea duck but no Shearwaters or Skua's at all.
Results are below
Red Throated Diver- 32 (loads more than I was expecting, all but 3 were pristine summer adults, nice!)
Wigeon- 300+ many medium sized flocks passing through
Teal 200+ again quite a lot of small flocks, mainly heading North
Common Scoter, one small flock of 12 heading North
Gannet- 350+ (mostly in the first half hr after dawn but a steady stream throughout the day)
Common tern- Many passing through 100+(? not counted fully)
Commic tern- at least 15 probable Arctics but I'm still not confident enough with this species pair in flight, esp at distance!
Sandwich tern- 27
Hobby 1 juv in off and over my head at about 5metres!
After the seawatch I checked the bushes, not much doing here spare a Lesser whitethroat and a few Blackcaps. I heard a call once which I thought could be a Yellow Browed Warbler but the wind and dense veg made it impossible to see or hear again, maybe it was one but I'm sure I'll find one sooner or later this autumn. A trumpet from behind alerted me to a nice flock of 14 Cranes heading South, always a good sight.
Other birds at Winterton included 2 Hobby's, 2 Buzzards and a few hirrundines moving through, apart from that it was fairly quiet, no dragons or damsels worthy of mention at the pools either.
A nice morning out even if it was slightly less eventful than hoped.