Monday, 30 October 2017

Big Seabird Movement Point Lynas 29/10/17

There was a large movement of seabirds past Point Lynas yesterday morning. I arrived at dawn, and began watching the sea at 6.45am. The wind was NNW 6/7. The previous day had had a strong westerly wind which continued through the night. This had undoubtedly driven some birds into Liverpool Bay. The first bird I saw was a Manx Shearwater at very close range, so it had a good feeling. Over the next four and a half hours the numbers and variety of species were very high, particularly in the first two hours. At one point I couldn't lift my eyes from my binoculars for at least five minutes! This was one of my most memorable watches at Lynas over the past 30ish years, for the sheer numbers and closeness of the birds. The Grey Phalarope at about 600m off the rocks was, I think, my first here on a seawatch. I also think the cumulative effect of Storm Ophelia and Storm Brian in the past two weeks may have certainly moved a lot of seabirds into the Irish Sea.

Species Recorded 06.45 to 11.15 am. (all birds moving west)

Shelduck 5
Eider 1 (fem/imm)
Common Scoter 16
Red-Throated Diver 3
Fulmar 1
Manx Shearwater 5
Storm Petrel 1
Leach's Petrel 2 (petrels appeared later and further out)
Gannet 249 (25 fishing)
Shag 6
Grey Heron 1
Curlew 1
Oystercatcher 5
Grey Phalarope 1 (following a group of auks very close)
Great Skua 20
Pomarine Skua 4 (2 ads with 'spoons', two juvs)
Arctic Skua 11
Black-headed Gull 104
Common Gull 41
Mediterranean Gull 3 (2 ads, 1 Ist w.)
Herring Gull 70
Great Black-backed Gull 6
Lesser Black-backed Gull 5
Little Gull 1 (ad.)
Kittiwake 2600
Arctic Tern 1 (juv)
Black Tern 1 (surprisingly late)
'Auk sp' 4230 (about 80% Razorbills, but more Guillemots than previous watches)

Also 3 to 5 Bottle-nosed Dolphins for five minutes moving east, leaping and feeding.

Hopefully this is of interest, and will encourage more people to watch from Point Lynas. Please contact me if you want any help or advice on access or the best times to watch.

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