Sunday, 6 May 2018

Seaford seawatches (05, 06 & 07 May 2018)

Monday 07 May. Another Splash Point seawatch where I joined CB, JMS, ME & JC at 05:45 with DB, SL and others arriving soon after. It was slow and somewhat hazy and the very light NE did little to bring most of the passing birds close enough to enjoy. Up to 12:00 when I left I recorded the following flying east: 2 Black-throated Divers10 Shelduck, a pair of Shoveler (that circled the bay before continuing), 125 Common Scoter, 2 Oystercatchers, 4 Grey Plover, 40 Knot, single Sanderling and Dunlin, 70 Bar-tailed Godwits, 16 Whimbrel, 2 impressive pale morph Pomarine Skuas (at 06:00 - relatively close with good tails), 12 Arctic Skuas (7 pale, 3 dark & 2 distant and including a high flock of 7), a distant unidentified large skua, 33 Sandwich Terns, 555 Commic Terns (most too far out to attempt identifying), 7 Little and 2 Black Terns. There were also 3 Common Sandpipers on the rocks east of the breakwater. It turned out to be a mistake ot leave as Poms started moving mid afternoon, ME, JMS and DB sticking it out for most of the day. I returned to the coast watching from the end of Shoreham Harbour from 17:30-19:30 and managed two Poms just about my side of the murk at 18:41 and 19:27. The former had a good tail and was seen off Brooklands a few minutes before, the latter didn't and was presumably that seen off Goring at 19:00. Unfortunately a flock of 5 seen at Selsey at 17:03 and Seaford at 18:11 wasn't seen by me or BJ who was on the arm when I arrived.

Sunday 06 May. I arrived at Splash Point at 05:30 to join P&GJ and ME, the latter not first on the arm for a change. I stated to 12:00 when heat haze made viewing of the little that was going past difficult. During that time I recorded the following flying E: 44 Gannets, 3 Shelduck, 30 Common Scoter, 5 Oystercatchers, 260 Bar-tailed Godwits, 116 Whimbrel, a flock of 7 pale morph Pomarine Skuas (over the basket at 10:02), 7 Arctic Skuas (2 pale, 5 dark), a Great Skua, 16 Sandwich Terns, 660 Commic Terns (including at least 222 Arctics, about 85% of those identified), 6 Little and 6 Black Terns. The latter were a single and 5 out of 7 seen by SL in a flock of about 30 Commics. A Shag flew west and an unidentified sandpiper (not Common), a Sand Martin, 3 Swallows and 2 alba Wagtails came in. Later Megan and I took Cookie up to Mill Hill seeing a Buzzard and 2 Whitethroats
successful Skuas On Sunday outing
Goldfinch collecting nesting material by our front porch
Saturday 05 May 2018. I arrived at Splash Point, Seaford with DB at 05:55 to find ME, JK and PE on the arm. It was a generally quiet seawatch with enough going by to keep ones interest. Most of us stuck it out to 12:00 during which time I'd seen the following flying east: 2 divers (one a summer Black-throated), 2 Manx Shearwaters (and 1 west), 23 Gannets, 4 Shelduck, a drake Garganey (at 06:25), 52 Common Scoter, an Avocet (at 11:00), 5 Grey Plover, 95 Whimbrel, 205 Bar-tailed Godwits, 5 Arctic Skuas (2 pale, 2 dark & 1 distant), 2 Great Skuas, 18 Sandwich Terns, 875 Commic (including at least 145 Arctics, 80% of those identified) and a Little Tern. Two Mute Swans flew west, 6 Razorbills were seen, 2 separate Hobbies came in as did a Swift and 2 Swallows.
a dog heading west enlivend one quiet period

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