Sunday, 11 September 2011

Seaton seawatching

06:30 - 08:30
77 Balearic Shearwaters, 593 Manx, 6 Bonxies, 1 Arctic Skua, 3 Kittiwakes, 3 Commic Tern, 2 Curlew, 3 auk sp, 1 Common Scoter - all W. Also counted [exactly!] 300 Gannets W in first hour. By 08:30 all movement had virtually dried up, coinciding (perhaps significantly?) with the appearance of blue sky and a lot of sunshine.

It's interesting to read the other posts to compare scenarios. Whilst this was (I think) a site record count of Balearics, the birds were generally not close - most being at a range of 1 mile plus. Most of the Manxies were - typically - further out still. There were shearwaters popping up above the horizon in some numbers as far out as you could see, and, as this jizz/behaviour usually indicates Manx they were counted as such, though some could obviously have been Balearics too. Our birds were clearly part of the same massive gathering as witnessed at Budleigh and Orcombe, but significantly further from land by the sounds of it. Perhaps we were on the eastern edge? It'll be interesting to see what Portland posts later.

Just to add some geographical context I thought it might be interesting to post a Google satellite map showing the relevant locations in Lyme Bay, especially if some readers are not familiar with the positions of them all. There is a scale at the bottom left.

PS. A normal Seaton seawatch involves a long yawn between birds - this is the first time that I have really felt the need for a 'clicker'! Must invest in one some day...