After the winds of late there was only one thing to do this morning in the forecast clearer and drier conditions and that was have a look on the sea. Over the past few days it has been pretty windy but it has been the lack of visibility with the driving rain that has been the problem. This morning I had 2 oktas cloud cover with a 10- 15 mph southerly wind. The visibility was better, though not brilliant, and the swell made it tricky viewing birds on the sea.
There was actually some vis this morning as it was the first decent window for some time and again high flying continental Chaffinches were a feature of the morning. On vis I had 32 Chaffinches, eight Linnets (all coming in off the sea), a Brambling, 137 Starlings (37 'in-off'), ten Meadow Pipits (8 in-off), a Rock Pipit (in-off) and two Skylarks.
A few waders gathered as the tide ran in and I had 191 Sanderlings, 67 Oystercatchers, two Curlews, 101 Turnstones and 15 Ringed Plovers.
It's a wonder there are any birds on the shore at all with the disturbance they receive from dog walkers. This morning there was a male Eider on the beach and an ignorant, and obviously unintelligent, woman was walking a Labrador and her stupid pooch started to chase the Eider. The Eider headed for the sea and the stupid dog was dancing round it and making grabs for it. What did the intellectually challenged female toss pot do?; she just watched and let her dog harass the poor Eider. The Eider made it to the sea and the dog went in after it. Once the Eider was in deeper water it had no problem escaping from the thick dog and it kept diving and then surfacing away from it. As the Eider went further out the the dog swam after it. I was starting to hope that the fast moving tide would carry the dog out into the bay as it would have served its stupid owner right. Eventually the dog gave up on the Eider and swam back to shore and the idiotic woman and her pooch proceeded to walk along the beach flushing the roosting waders!
From a negative aspect of the morning to a positive sea related one there was a bit of movement on the sea this morning in the form of 46 Common Scoters, five Kittiwakes, three Eiders (including the beleagured male), seven Red-breasted Mergansers, 29 Little Gulls, two Auk sp. and a Great Crest Grebe.
The forecast is looking grim for the next few days and it will be challenging when out birding to say the least. I've got to go to my feeding station at the water treatment works tomorrow morning but it will literally be a splash and dash!
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