Before I get on to this morning's birds at the Obs I just wanted to say how superb the visibility was. In fact in my 38 years of seawatching off the Lancashire coast I have never been able to see Scotland before! The Isle Of Man, regularly, but today I could see the hills of Dumfries and Galloway! The ten counties I could see were Cumbria, Lancashire, North Yorkshire, Greater Manchester, Dumfries and Galloway, Flintshire, Denbighshire, Conwy, Isle of Anglesy and Gwynedd. Snowdon looked resplendant peeking above the clouds with it's snow covered tops! In fact it looked like some mystical kingdom adrift in the Irish Sea!
At first I thought the forecast was completely wrong as it was virtually calm at first light and according to last night's forecast it shouldn't have been. I thought that I had perhaps missed a ringing opportunity but the wind soon picked up to a good 10-15 mph northeasterly, feeling quite bitter under clear skies.
Grounded migrants were thin on the ground and were just three Goldcrests and two male Wheatears. Until I got to the coast I thought the vis was particularly light, but I realised with such clear conditions birds could quite easily be crossing from North Wales to the Mull of Galloway! In fact I could pick out quite a few Meadow Pipits and Alba Wagtails out at sea. My vis totals were 125 Meadow Pipits, a Siskin, nine Alba Wags, five Curlews, a Goldfinch, a Linnet, two Carrion Crows, 47 Pink-footed Geese and Grey Wagtail.
The only notable movement on the sea were seven Red-throated Divers north. And I know when I spoke to Ian earlier in the morning he had had over 20 high flying Red-throats heading in to the Bay.
The forecast is looking good for some ringing tomorrow, so I'll be back at the Obs with some mist nets.
a few random VI bird images -
1 hour ago