Saturday, November 03, 2007

I've done this before ....

On the way down to the point this Blackbird was lying dead.

Very nice hour and a half on Kettleness Point from 7 this morning. The wind wasn't blowing when I started but after half an hour it got up to a 4-5, not quite as far round to the north as I had expected.

The first Kittiwakes for weeks appeared early on and their numbers increased until I reckoned about 100 were seen over the watch. The sea was thinly scattered with auks, mostly Guillemots and although there appeared to be a bit of westerly movement this was probably just repositioning for feeding. In all there were probably 250 Guillemots; only 6 Razorbills were ided.

Three drake Eider were swanning around off the point, one of which flew conveniently closer. Small numbers of Gannets appeared, in the end a total of 40 or so.

Star turns were an excellent adult Med Gull that drifted by close inshore at about 07:45. This is probably only my second or third from Kettleness so I was well pleased. Then a few minutes later as I was looking out to other lands at x45, espying some suspicious but distant feeding activity, a first winter Pom powered into view. I turned the power down to x15 to enjoy this bird, it was quite close but all too soon it was around the corner and eyeing up the Black-headed Gulls in Sandsend Bay. Now I did think at this point, maybe there'll be more of these. Classic date, wind getting up and I remembered the morning some years ago when I counted 13 off Ness Point (the other side of Whitby) and then packed up too early because subsequently 150 or so probably went by (reports from other coastal stations). There's no signal at Kettleness so I can't check what's going on elsewhere but I reckon I'd have seen a few more Poms if I'd sat tight beyond 08:30. So it goes.

Next up was a tiny thing, a wee, wee thing, very distantly heading east that ditched in an auk like manner, no doubt it was a Little Auk but unclaimable.

There were in addition to all this 2 Red -throated Divers, 2 diver sp, 14 Common Scoter and several buckets of Black-headed and Common Gulls. But I wanted to check the dell and the point bushes so I packed up.

The point bushes, one of the two Sallows (there's also 1 Elder and a good old bit of Gorse, an Apple and a Hawthorn or two). Sitting on the rock to the right of the bush is the likely "cause of death" of the Blackbird.

Maybe this is why the Sparrowhawk abandoned its prey.

Up top there were still lots of passerines around the farm including 7 Twite. But on the whole numbers of thrushes, Robins etc were much reduced.

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