Monday, 20 September 2010

A Mixed Bag

With a week off work i thought would finally get an opportunity to get in a good sea watch. Westerlies are forecast all week so Saturday was my only real chance to go with some moderate NW overnight. I left the house at 4.30am and walked to the station, arriving at Sheringham at 6.15am. I soon had a Manx Shearwater pass mid-distance it was then quite until the Sandwich Tern started to move though, with Skua appearing to harry them. c20 Arctic Skua, 2 Great Skua, 1 Pomarine Skua and 1/2 Long-tailed Skua passed through in 2 hours, although some birds circled back and probably got counted twice. The LT Skua was called by a regular in the shelter and at first look I'm not sure would have correctly called it, i can see why it causes so much debate on the message boards. A distant shearwater was noted as Sooty Shearwater, but shearwater sp. only totalled 4 in 2 hours, with 2 being to distant to ID. Gannet were passing through in reasonable numbers, mainly travelling east. (167e/86w). Other birds of note included 3 Red-throated Diver, 6 Pink-footed Geese, 1 Fulmer, 5 Common Scoter and a few odd waders and ducks.

I munched my way through a bacon bap before James join me on the bus to Cley, i was originally going to go straight home so anything we could see would be a bonus. From Daukes Hide we located 2 Little Stint and a few Dunlin but wader number were very low. A large number of Wigeon were probably new arrivals. The wind had dropped and the North Scape was as deserted as the others, so we walked the ridge towards Salthouse. After hearing a Lapland Bunting overhead we eventually located 4 on the ridge behind Arnold's Marsh. Walking to Salthouse we added Greenshank, Spotted Redshank and 2 Wheatear on a rather disappointing walk. The Dun Cow failed to give me any further pub birds, but to pub dragonflies in Migrant Hawker and Common Darter. Sheringham had provided a good sea watch considering the mediocre conditions, and Cley as half expected was quiet, but all in all no pleasant day out.

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