Monday, 12 September 2011


By far the best bird of the day has to go down as 'one that got away'! A small, probably Little Shearwater passed the north end of the island quite close in with Manxies this afternoon, but the view was for about 15 seconds before it disappeared into a massive trough and that was the end of that bit of excitement! The bird was very black above, clean white on the underwings (many if not all the juv manxies that passed this afternoon had good amounts of marking on the underwings) with minimal black bordering. It had a large white face and was flapping constantly, looking almost Common Sand like as it flew, with shallow flaps. Still we did ID some birds as

Force ten winds from the South ensured that most action was situated out to sea today, with impressive totals of seabirds tallying up during the day. The first Leach's Storm-petrels of the year were seen in the afternoon, with two off the North end; other noteworthy birds included eight Sooty Shearwaters, six Balearic Shearwaters, nine Great Skuas, five Arctic Skuas,two Pomarine Skuas and singles of Long-tailed SkuaSabine’s Gull and Little GullFulmars Gannets also passed by in good numbers, with 47 and 850 seen respectively; four Bar-tailed Godwits, 275 Sandwich Terns, 188 Common Terns and 18 Arctic Terns were also seen.
Probably the biggest spectacle of the day was the massive movement of Manxies in the afternoon. I know we have got 16,000 pairs of Manxies here on the island, but when you see 15,736 passing at sea in three hours (maxing at 9000/hr in the last hour) it is IMPRESSIVE!
 Massive Seas - almost joined us us the hide at times!
 Huge waves - we were about 10m above Mean High Water and were looking up (!) at the waves at times
 Good Numbers of Gannets

 Record shots of Arctic Skua

 And Sootys

Trying to give the idea of the spectacle of such a large Manxie passage. This scene was constant and which ever way you looked there were thousands of shearwaters!

What will tomorrow bring - off to bed now, I have an early start!

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