Monday, 14 September 2009

Monday Seawatch

With the news of a cory's shearwater heading north from Hartlepool late morning, I opted to spend some time sea-watching this afternoon.

The obvious choice for me would normally be St Mary's... but for some reason I elected to head a bit further north, past Newbiggin and start watching from Snab Point.

The location was actually not too bad - I was able to view from a height of about ten meters above the beach (which is higher than the likes of St Mary's etc), but the coast here is recessed a bit, so birds passing Newbiggin are likely to drift out to sea a bit, venturing closer to land at Hauxley.

So, for the next four and a half hours I scoped the sea and enjoyed a reasonably steady trickle of seabirds - the totals being something like:

  • manx shearwater - 150 N
  • sooty shearwater - 3N
  • great skua - 4N
  • arctic skua - 5N 1S
  • pomarine skua - 1N
  • pale-bellied brent goose - 9N (inc 7 on sea, these had previously been reported past St Mary's 50 minutes earlier)
  • wigeon - 30N
  • teal - 25N
  • common scoter - few parties N, no more than 20 birds in total
  • gannet - 100's, inc many parties of mixed ages
  • kittiwake - 100's
  • auks - guillemot and razorbill
  • sandwich tern - 2

Hopes had been high when the cory's shearwater was reported at both Whitburn and St Mary's (along with great shearwater at Whitburn)... but alas, no joy today.

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