Wednesday, 8 May 2019

More seawatching (7-8 May 2019)

Tuesday 07 May. I seawatched at Splash Point with others for varying periods. JK arrived when I did at 05:25. ME joined us on the front row after Seaford Head and the School Run Conditions felt reasonable as the wind moved round from light NE to even lighter (unfortunately) SE and just about enough was passing to keep us there in the hope it might kick off. It never did. JK and most others had sensibly left by the time I thought to do so at 15:00 but news of a Pomarine Skua at Selsey came through as I was about to pack up my scope and I stayed with ME and JMS. We waited but despite it being seen at Shoreham all we saw was a Bonxie. Between 05:30-18:00 I recorded the following flying east: 12 Brent Geese, a male Gadwall, 287 Common Scoter, 9 divers (5 identified as Red and 1 Black -throated), 32 Gannets, 2 Grey Plover, 52 Whimbrel, 47 Bar-tailed Godwits, 4 Knot, 3 Sanderling, 2 Little Gulls (one a superb close adult), a first-summer Mediterranean Gull, 105 Sandwich, 19 Little, 480 Commic and 4 (2+2) Black Terns, a Great, 2 Pomarine and 5 Arctic Skuas and 3 unidentified auks. Seven of the Commic Terns were identified as Common and 53 as Arctic, a proportion I suspect applied to the rest. Also 9 Swallows came in, the pair of Egyptian Geese were on the cliff top and 2 Common Sandpipers and the White Wagtail-type were on the groyne, as was a Bar-tailed Godwit at one stage.
Egyptian Goose (and Jackdaw) on Seaford Head
Bar-tailed Godwit resting on the groyne at Splash Point

Pomarine Skua passing Splash Point
what a tail!
White Wagtail at Splash Point

with Common Sandpiper
Wednseday 08 May. With poor weather forecast, albeit including early SE, I seawatched at Widewater from 05:40-08:40. Viewing conditions were difficult with at times poor visibility, driving rain it wasn't easy to shelter from and deep troughs what few birds I saw disappeared into. Despite this it was worth going, although Seaford would have been much better. I saw 5 Common Scoter, 43 Sandwich, 5 Commic and 5 (4+1) Black Terns and 2 close Pomarine Skuas (at about 06:10) although views were not special. Later the weather improved significantly and Megan and I took Cookie to Brooklands but saw little there.
finding shelter at Widewater
Mute Swan with cygnets on Brooklands, a fourth is hidden on the other side

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