Sunday, 6 September 2009

Westerly blowing

The west wind was blowing this morn when I arrived at the delightful Marwick Bay. Many of the Fulmars were doing their hundreds of feet up thing again but just counting the low over the sea ones 1000 an hour were going south with but 240 an hour going north. Gannets were at 500 an hour south and 70 an hour north.

Manx Shearwater was the first of three species I did not see yesterday, four south and one north in 2 hours or so. A Red-throated Diver went south. The or a Whimbrel went south.

Now here's an interesting thing, why are almost all the Common Gulls on the fields adults (948 out of 950 yesterday for example) and all the ones feeding over the sea, moving south over the sea and generally mooching about on the shore juveniles? Could it be that the young birds need more iron in their diet? Juveniles of this species appeared to be trickling south through the watch.

Here's another interesting thing, why did most of the Fulmars go north yesterday morning but south this morning? Does the wind direction really make that much difference?

Plenty of Mepits again this morning, certainly trickling south and 7 finches that might have been crossbills went south. I didn't hear these too well but they sounded similar to the 15 or so that went south over Dounby at the beginning of the week which had a very strange varient on crossbill call; quite unlike Yorkshire birds.

Other interesting things were a flurry of Razorbills going north and south, Bonxies, going mostly north (12N, 5S) but I'll have missed many of the close and high ones. A Puffin.

On the way to breakfast there were two Greenshank and a male Hen Harrier at The Loons amongst a huge Greylag Goose party, several of these had orange collars. Then it rained very hard, now it's stopped. R-b Shrike at Stromness so perhaps I'd better go birding.

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