And so the month of sitting in a freezing cold hide with strong easterly’s making your eyes water is upon us. I have done sea watching before but my life list of seabirds speaks wonders of my commitment having only seen Manx Shearwaters, 1 Sooty Shearwater, and a handful of Bonxies and Arctic Skuas passing offshore, I have seen all the other expected stuff though on a seawatch.
So yesterday I made my way down to the Obs with a nice late start of 4:55 in the morning, I was sitting in the Obs for 6:15. Not bad going that you know! So we started of our seawatch, it was an enjoyable 4-5 hours with the highlights being 2 close Arctic Skuas, a few close Bonxies, and of course my life tick of Sooty Shearwater. Views where distant of the Sooty but after watching loads of Manx Shearwaters passing it was very evident it was it, I couldn’t see hardly any white on the under wing of the bird and it looks quite big even next to a gannet, an impression I never got with Manx Shearwaters.
I think the other highlight has to go to a small falcon, we were sitting in the hide and having a rest from looking out to sea when me and Mark said “Merlin” at the same time as a bird flew right past in front of the Obs at a fairly leisurely pace, closest views I have had of this species yet even though views were only for about a second or two. One of my favourite falcons of all time.
Sooty Shearwater is both a life tick (255) and a year tick (224).
Until next time, Foghorn out!