Monday, 18 May 2015

A Sea Going Marsh Hawk

It is absolutely pouring down as I sit and write this on a thoroughly miserable Monday morning, so no site visits for me today. Yesterday it was cold with a 20 mph west-southwesterly wind and the only thing to do was a bit of sea watching. I didn't get to the point until 0630 and was joined later by Howard and then Ian.

The flavour of the morning once again was Gannets and we had 119 come out of the bay. The best bird of the morning was undoubtedly a female Marsh Harrier that I picked up a long way out heading northeast across the outer bay. Marsh Harriers heading east in to the bay during the spring are annual and they are usually just off-shore hugging the coast. This bird, however, was a long way out and crossing a substantial area of sea!

We had just two Skuas during the 'watch'  and these were very obliging dark morph and pale morph Arctic Skuas 'rocketing' in to the Bay just over the surf!

The supporting cast on the sea included 1,080 Knots, 33 Kittiwakes, nine Auk sp., 36 Common Scoters, two Red-throated Divers, ten Manx Shearwaters, two Sandwich Terns, two Guillemots, two Fulmars and two Common Terns.

The only vis was twelve Swallows flying west in to wind and a single Swift.

Weather permitting it's more breeding bird surveys in Cumbria for me this week and it could well be weekend before I am out on the patch again.


Warren Baker said...

Lets hope the cool and wet weather doesn't affect the breeding. Your nest boxes seem to be going well though mate :-)

The Hairy Birder said...

So far so good Warren, but the crucial period will be when they hatch and whether the adults can find enough food. Fingers crossed for some warm settled weather!