Saturday, 9 March 2013

East Versus West

It was difficult to discern the direction of movement on the sea this morning, or it was for some species and for the relatively short time I was watching for. I had a few bird related tasks to carry out this morning that limited my seawatching time to only about an hour and half.

Common Scoters were the main feature of the morning for me and they were mainly heading westwards out of the bay, although some were heading eastwards into the bay. Interestingly they were coming from a long way east in the bay and I wondered whether overnight they had been feeding further into the bay under the cover of darkness or perhaps during the early hours of the morning they had drifted east on the incoming tide and now it was light they were moving west to feed on the outer reaches of the bay. Whatever the reason I had 33 head east (into the bay) and 249 west (out of the bay).

Eiders were a mix of east, west and on the sea and totalled 38 birds. Red-throated Divers were different and they were all moving east, which is the spring migration direction here, and I had eight head into the bay. Red-breasted Mergansers were doing a bit of both and were probably just wintering birds moving around feeding and I had nine in total.


Four Great Crested Grebes put in an appearance and these were all heading west out of the bay. A Shelduck, five Curlews and three Meadow Pipits all east were probably migrants along with the Divers.

Afterwards I headed to one of the ringing areas at the obs to put ropes on the net rides in readiness for the first ringing session, whenever that will be. A quick look on 'XC Weather' for the next seven days shows that the next window of opportunity for ringing will be towards the end of next week, but I must admit I don't pay much attention to forecasts a week ahead as invariably they don't come to fruition.

My last bird related job was to put some feed out at my feeding station. I did a quick 'splash and dash' in the rain and all I recorded of note were 60 Fieldfares heading southeast.

I'll have a look again on the sea tomorrow and see who wins, east or west.

No comments: