I should have been doing a breeding bird survey in north Cumbria this morning to earn a crust, but it was too windy so I ended up seawatching at the Obs. There was full cloud cover and the wind was southwesterly 25 mph and some shelter was required in front of the tower.
The first hour and a half was fairly slow and then things started to pick up a bit. After Ian left to do the school run I had two cracking pale morph Pom Skuas fly east in to the bay and they were close in. In fact if they hadn't motored in at the high rate of knots that they were travelling, and I had some advance notice of their arrival, I might have managed to get some shots! When Ian returned after the school run we had another Pom cutting northeast across the mouth of the bay.
The other main feature of the morning were Fulmars and Gannets, and we had five and 109 of each respectively. We even had one Fulmar come along the beach, which is unusual! There was a supporting cast to the Poms, Fulmars and Gannets and these were 44 Common Scoters, eight Sandwich Terns, nine Arctic Terns, two Shelducks, a Red-breasted Merganser, eleven Guillemots, twelve Cormorants, eight Kittiwakes, 15 Auk sp., six Manx Shearwaters, two Red-throated Divers, a dark morph Arctic Skua and two Razorbills.
The vis this morning was that of aerial insectivores with 82 Swallows and four Swifts moving west into the wind.
It will probably be weekend now before I am back on the patch as north Cumbria and breeding bird surveys beckon to earn that crust!
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4 hours ago