Sunday, 10 August 2014

The Tale of Three Seawatches!

So once ringing had been well and truly written off it was time to head to the coast to try and see a few passing seabirds. On arrival at Splash Point at 5.20am I was surprised to be the only one on site. Nonetheless I got settled and it was soon pretty apparent it was going to be quite a slow day. It was nice to see Matt, Bob, Neil, Chris and Liam and the birds weren't too bad in the end anyway:

Splash Point, Seaford - 5.20am to 11.00am

Kittiwake - 387E
Common Scoter - 67E
Fulmar - 43E
Whimbrel - 2E
Gannet - 366W
Shelduck - 17E
Swift - 6E

Cormorant - 6E
Oystercatcher - 1E/1W
Balearic Shearwater - 2E (07.40 & 10.10)
Curlew - 5E
Gadwall - 2E
Skua sp (Probabaly Arctic) - 1E (10.02)
Sandwich Tern - 3E
Common Tern - 2E

I then headed home for a nap only to be woken by a text from Matt saying the Long-tailed Skua was back and I was desperate to see it having missed it four times in the last week. I rang George K and he was watching it when I rang and said he would call if it moved. I got to Chichester and George rang...balls! I decided to head to Selsey Bill as it had flown west from Church Norton. I arrived at 3.50pm and watched with Sam, Justin, Sarah and Andrew H and recorded the following:

Selsey Bill - 3.50pm to 5.05pm

Whimbrel - 3W
Gannet - 3W/3E
Common Scoter - 1E
Eider - 5o/s
Common Tern - 12W
Great Crested Grebe - 6o/s
LBB Gull - 3W
Swift - 14W
Sandwich Tern - 6W
Turnstone - 1E
Sanderling - 3W

The Long-tailed Skua didn't fly by during my stay at Selsey Bill but at c5.05pm it was reported at the Lifeboat Station and flying towards the Bill. Finally I had to connect with the bird...WRONG it headed back to Church Norton so I beat a hasty retreat and rocked up at Church Norton to find Lee Evans and no Skua...Tits!

I decided to sit it out at Church Norton and hope the little bastard came back but now it was low tide and my confidence had all but drained. To cut a long story short I didn't see the shitbag skua, in fact I didn't see anything of note in three more hours seawatching. Totals below:

Church Norton - 5.20pm to 8.05pm

Whimbrel - 4W
Turnstone - 9o/b
Sandwich Tern - 16W
Common Tern - 11W
Little Tern - 2W
Cormorant - 6E
Oystercatcher - 20+o/b
Med Gull - 1E

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