Sunday, September 09, 2007

They all go back again

I waited all day - despite the news of Great Shears in the North Sea (as well) - because I had a hunch about yesterday's Little Gulls and I wanted to do an evening seawatch. I also wanted to check the evening tern situation. Kettleness is definitely pants for shearwaters coming north anyway - I think they get pushed out off Flamborough and then they see the Tees and miss me out (just compare my Sooty numbers with to the south and to the north of me - rather pathetic).

I didn't have to wait long before I locked on to a steady trickle of distant Little Gulls going east - I kind of knew they would do that. They were hard to pick out and if 130 of them hadn't gone fishing I'd have missed nearly all of them, as it was I reckon I saw 50% of those that went by in visible range because I got distracted by other birds (and tea and biscuits). So 220 went east in three hours and 2 west (although I bet they went east eventually). They're tricksy things are Little Gulls anyway, they have this way of sneaking past the seawatcher.

Arctic Skuas were out in force zooming around off the point and into Runswick and Sandsend Bays; 18 different ones may have been an overestimate. Only 1 juvenile in that lot is of concern.

Only 1 Sooty, Flamborough had over 250 today. 3 Manx in with the feeding frenzy and 3 late easterly movers.

At first the terns were only Commons and Sandwich mostly going east. Then I started picking out terns with those distant Little Gulls and suspected they were Arctics. I'd seen Sandwich Terns moving earlier from Sandsend Bay so I wasn't surprised to see 22 east and 2 west. The Commons were all over the place after a bit with quite a few close birds coming west also, I could hear them much of the time. Then I found a feeding gang of terns nearly all of which were Arctic, 40 or so. The next smaller feeding frenzy was right in front of me and close and of 20 or so terns at least 10 were Arctic.

Something happened in Puffin World today. I see few Puffins off the Kettle so 8 all east was a bit weird. There were Guillemots and Razorbills moving in small flocks east this evening as well, not too many, about 30 Razors or so. Most of about 3-400 Razors were still happy to sit on the sea and feed.

So still not petrels or Sabs (I rather fancied a Sabs today), but entertaining nonetheless.

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