I only had a couple of hours to spare this morning before I needed to head off to Merseyside for a meeting so I was at the coast for 0625 and I spent the next couple of hours seawatching. I immediately had a Leach's Petrel heading south along the tide line, quickly followed by another. I then had a bit of a wait before another two headed south. All four gave stonking views!
The first Skua I had through was an Arctic and then at 0725 I had a a pale morph adult Pom Skua with full tail spoons just over the beach. Awesome! As I was watching the Pom an adult Sabines Gull flashed past my scope! I didn't know which one to watch! Both birds slowly drifted south out of view. In addition to these stonking birds I had a few Gannets and Kittiwakes heading south.
I returned mid-afternoon after my meeting and did a further 3 hours. Straight away I was on to a Leach's and another two quickly followed. I had 2 Manxies, Sandwich Tern, 9 Gannets, Fulmar, Little Gull and 5 Kittiwakes head south. Then at 1700 I picked up a small distant tern like Skua 'shearing' south. It didn't really get any closer but I managed to get enough on it to clinch it as a juv intermediate type Long-tailed Skua. Excellent!
Shortly before this I had a really close Bonxie go south and the Long-tailed made it four species of Skua off the Lancashire coast; the first time I had ever seen all four species of Skua off Lancashire! The passage then slowed down and by 1800 I was getting hungry and decided to call it a day. I couldn't complain, except perhaps for missing the Balearic. If work hadn't got in the way of birding again there is a chance I would have seen it.
The wind is going to ease down over night and into tomorrow and then swing to the southeast and become very light for Thursday morning. Hopefully I will be able to get out ringing. As always I'll keep you posted.
Tufted Duck - (Aythya fuligula) - Photographed at the northern Cannop Ponds, Forest of Dean, Gloucestershire, UK. *Please can you sign this petition to stop the proposed M4 over the Gwent ...
2 hours ago