Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Seawatch Kettleness this a.m.

The wind went around to the north-west so seawatching is a good bet. Not today. In 3.5 hours from 05:55 Whimbrel - a flock of 15 went east and a singleton came west and er, well that was about it really. There was a Bonxie, 12 Teal, 2 Common Scoter, about 15 Manxies mostly messing about feeding, 2 Eider and about 40 Arctic Terns. The only notable feature really was the huge increase in Kittiwakes, including many juvs (good news). At one point my sample counts indicated Kittiwake at 600 an hour (roughly equal numbers in each direction). The total for the watch was probably between 1,200 and1,500. At times there were three feeding flocks off the point of sometimes 70 - 100 birds in addition to those moving. Around and about the point best bird was a Merlin terrorising the Swallow flock; 15 Curlew, 5 Teal, about 20 Sarnies with at least 3 juvs.

Filey had a Little Gull this morning + a Minke and an adult Sabines this evening - perhaps I should have stuck it out all day .... so it goes.

So the Yangtze River Dolphin is extinct, or nearly so. That is a major extinction. Watching Arctic Terns today, one of my favourite birds, I wondered how long they have left. Another terrible breeding season is reported, so far this year I have seen a maximum of 4 or 5 juveniles amongst several hundred adults. perhaps it is still early and they will arrive but ... They are such a fragile thing, ultra long distance migrant, specialised food requirements (which humans are hoovering up for fertiliser), vulnerable nest sites ...

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