Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Autumnal Additions

A trip to Barmston on Saturday morning wasnt quite as hoped as the forecast easterlies and rain failed to materialise and I was left with southerlies and sun. I gave the patch a good thrash but didnt manage a huge amount onshore (three Whitethroats, a handfull of Yellow Wagtails and erm, thats it). I bookended this with a couple of seawatching sessions which were more productive. The lack of easterly meant most things were passing distantly but loads was out there. No shearwaters ventured close enough to be picked up from shore but a few skuas moved early on with a flock of six Great Skuas harrassing everything as they headed south. A couple of light phase Arctic Skuas harrased the Sandwich Terns just offshore and a dark phase bird hammered through. Apparently a Pom was seen from Barmston at the same time I was watching but tis seems unlikely as I was the only person there so unless somebody was doing it from the comfort of their caravan I'm very dubious.

Quite a decent number of commic terns were a good way off and none came close enough to resolve which is a pain as I need both of em... One tern did come close enough to ID and I picked it up because unlike its relatives, instead of hovering and then plunge diving, it just kept chucking itself into the water. Better views resolved a capped head with 'earphones' and dark upperwings confirming my first though - juvie Black Tern. I was delighted and was unsuprised when further reports of these smart marsh terns started to arrive from all and sundry not long after.

Other bits and bats included four Red-throated Divers and plenty of Anas ducks, largely Wigeon and Teal but the last flock held a pair of Pintail which is another full blown patch tick. A handful of Common Scoter also bobbed past and had a female Eider tucked in at the back - my second of the year, the first being an adult drake south in the spring. As I didnt get any decent photos of birds have a Common Darter...

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How brains and birds become mutually exclusive