Saturday, November 04, 2006

Little Auks past Kettleness Point

51 Little Auks went west past Kettleness in 3 hours from 07:10 this morning. 1 reprobate went east but that was probably included in the count as some were not moving strongly. I found the first as I checked for waders over the exposed rocks and it flew just a few metres offshore. The next two were only found when I noticed the local Peregrine hunting low over the sea, after three or four passes it gave up and two Little Auks popped up and continued on their way. During the first hour most birds were singles or pairs close inshore and checking with the scope produced nothing but in the final hour or so most were distant with flocks of 15, 5, 8, 3 and 4 - no doubt I missed a few. The wind increased dramatically during the watch, so much so I was almost blown off my feet as I climbed up the cliff to leave. The strong wind made some species look odd - change of jizz. Thus the 17 grey geese that were not too far out but too far to get detail - I couldn't see head well or the tail - looked uncharacteristically heavy and slow for Pink-feet (which they surely were). It also made x45 hard work buffeting the scope. Other highlights were Goldeneye 6 and a Red-breasted Merg - Mr Bigfeet didn't show. On land there was more Starling movement with 250 west in 30 mins - I can't quite figure out if this is just local movement though, a few Goldcrest were in the point bushes and there was a constant trickle of Skylarks heading west or south west. A good morning.

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