Friday, 22 August 2014

Spurn Day 44 - LIFER ALERT

Another Day at Spurn, finishing off the fence between shopping. The morning’s seawatch was dead, but I slept through most of it anyway, so did not miss much. Then we went shopping and once I returned we continued removing the last of the fence.
The evening came on and all the work was done. Beacon Ponds was quiet while we were there, probably as a result of our fence removal, but since it has been quiet recently anyway it does not really make a change.
The seawatch in the evening was quiet too, keeping up with the trend set by the day. However it was not all bad. At 5.58 in the evening, when it was all quiet, hardly anything moving I picked up another lifer. But this was only the 3rd self-found lifer this year for me, out of the 24 I have had. As we were watching I picked out a Skua moving south out to sea. I have little experience with skuas, but noticed that it was flying rather straight, with steady wingbeats and seemed to be a little bulky. I has my suspicions but fortunately the other birders in the hide shared my suspicions but having seen a Pom before were able to confirm it for me, something I would not have been able to do. It was a nice adult Pomarine Skua, with clear belly, though lacking any spoons so far as we could see. It flew straight along the horizon at a reasonable distance, not close, but not too far either. You could clearly make out a number of plumage features which was nice, and makes a change from the other Seawatching lifers I have had. I did manage to grab a few photos of it, but it was too far out for that really and as such they were not very good. 
-Pomarine Skua
I was thrilled to bits with that, it made my week. Other birds were thin on the ground, with only around 500 Common Tern, 2 Manx Shearwater and a couple of Gannet. I also spotted an Arctic Tern, based on its streamer length, but the other guys thought it Arctic more than rosette since we only had the silhouette.
After everyone had gone at around 7.40 a few more terns moved through, and I noticed a short winged bird flying that was swiftly overtaken by the flocks. Given I was on my own I would have to do this myself, but I put it down as a Black Tern. Fortunately it dipped below the horizon so more colour was visible, confirming my suspicions. That’s 2 great self-found birds in one evening.

Species List:
Seawatching: Greater Black-Backed Gull, Common Tern, Pomarine Skua, Gannet, Oystercatcher, Arctic Tern, Arctic Skua, Manx Shearwater, Common Gull, Little Tern, Black Tern, Swallow, Sand Martin,  

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