Monday, 16 September 2013


After seeing the seawatching reports from yesterday, I was really annoyed I didn't go, so I decided to go early this morning in the hope of seeing some of the birds that seemed to have roosted offshore overnight. When my alarm went off I almost decided not to go. What a mistake that would have been!

When I arrived, the first birds I saw were a flock eight Balearic Shearwaters. I then heard a high pitched tern like call coming from a bird which alighted on a pipe. I got it in the scope and saw this:

A Bonaparte's Gull!!! My rarest find so far and the rarest bird I've seen on patch. Probably the same bird that was here last year which takes away from the excitement a bit. I dipped that bird three times so I'm glad to have got it this time! I put the news out to the locals and it was successfully twitched by Kev, Robin and Will (who made it there in lightning speed!). It ranged along the seafront north of the pier landing on the groynes. Here are some more pictures of it:

Nice pale under-wing!

Also offshore were c80+ Balearic Shearwaters. Birds were doubling back north but the main movement was to the south. I reckon that we missed quite a lot while looking at the gull so the total's probably more like 100+. At 8:35am a massive flock of 40 birds when past. A really impressive sight.

Not such an impressive sight in the photo though.
A Red-throated Diver also flew in from the south and landed far offshore, and a very distant small Skua sp. flew south. Quite relaxed flight - Long-tailed!?

On the way back with Robin we checked Flow Point to look for the Knot but only saw 36 Dunlin, seven Ringed Plover, the Barwit and a Wheatear.

Later I checked Passage House on the lead up to high tide and counted 99 Curlew, the Barwit, 64 Little Egret and two Little Grebe. On my walk back I saw the pale Buzzard which has been seen for ages in the area. It was sitting in the path right in front of me so I assumed it had caught a mouse or something. When I approached it flew off but when I rounded the corner I saw it in the water!!! That's right, a Buzzard in a river! It just about managed to swim to the bank and haul itself out of the water. It didn't fly off even when I got to within two metres of it! There has to be something wrong with it. Should I tell the RSPB or someone similar about it? 

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