Sunday, 1 May 2011

A Long Hard Slog, But Worth It

It was a completely different day today than yesterday even though the weather conditions were more or less the same. I say more or less because the wind was due east this morning instead of a northeasterly like yesterday. I was at the Coastguard's Tower by 0545 and was soon joined by Ian, and then shortly afterwards by Johnny, Len, Mark, Paul and Kinta. I'm not used to seawatching in a crowd!

Swallows were on the move from 'the off' and I had 104 in total supported by 2 Swifts, 3 Sand Martins and a House Martin. Just like yesterday the 'vis' for other species was quiet and all I had were 6 Meadow Pipits, 20 Goldfinch, 6 Linnets, 2 Chaffinch, 2 Tree Pipits, Snipe, Yellow Wagtail, Alba Wagtail and 6 Jackdaws.

The sea was quieter but interesting this morning with the undoubted highlights being 6 Little Terns heading in to the bay close in, a cracking summer plumaged male Long-tailed Duck on the sea this time found by Ian and a pair of Goosanders on the sea. There weren't as many Arctic Terns as yesterday and my total was only 220. All this was backed up by a supporting cast of 4 Sandwich Terns, 2 Auk sp.'s, 23 Eiders, 113 Common Scoters, Great Crested Grebe, 3 Red-breasted Mergansers, 2 Gannets and a Little Gull.

There were good numbers of waders around, but just like yesterday, I didn't get the opportunity to count them except for 5 Whimbrel that flew east accompanied by a Bar-tailed Godwit. As we were watching the Long-tailed Duck Johnny picked up a male Peregrine that was having a go at the waders and in the process gave us stonking views.

The only grounded migrants were 2 Wheatears and a Willow Warbler that 'dropped' out of the sky and proceeded to sing from some low scrub in the dunes. The forecast is similar again for tomorrow, so I imagine the birding for me will be similar too!

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