Saturday, 27 March 2010

Rush Hour

It was busy with 'Johnny Come Lately' birders at Rossall Point this morning who obviously rolled out of their pits late and missed the morning rush hour from first light. Northwesterly winds are no good at Rossall, but in the spring even if the conditions aren't right, the first hour is always okay.

Eiders were moving around on the incoming tide and I counted 77 in total with more females scattered amongst them. Red-throated Divers motored into the bay in good numbers early on and then dwindled after the first hour. We had 31 head east, with only two or three turning round and heading back west. Perhaps they didn't fancy the prospect of an over land crossing.

I had my first Sandwich Terns of the spring, although they have been around for a few days, and I had a total of four birds. You can't beat that rasping call. Auks were in good numbers sallying back and forth. I only have twenty down in my notebook, but I guess there were probably three or four times as many as this. Some of the closer birds were identifiable and I had good views of four summer plumaged Razorbills on the sea.

There was an obvious movement of Gannets this morning and I had 41 in total. One group of eleven cut across the bay heading directly to the 'point' and passed incredibly close; we're talking nearly full frame binocular views here. Awesome! Six Red-breasted Mergansers and eleven Common Scoters headed west, and that was about if for sea passage.

Overhead vis was slow, as you would expect into a stiff northwesterly, but 41 Meadow Pipits still struggled through, including birds you could pick up in your scope out at sea crossing the 'bay'. A few Knot and Sanderling moved through, and the local Ringed Plovers were kept busy with 'aggression' display to passage birds!

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