Monday, 15 August 2011


I seem to have taken to seawatching in the middle of the day (Badseawatching Part 7) and surprisingly it has been quite productive. Today I started at Birsay at the Point of Buckoy at about 1.30. Clearly something was going on as Fulmar were pouring past close inshore at 2,000 an hour. Within minutes of starting I was on to my first Sooty and ended up with a total of seven, 12 Manx also went west. Once the causeway cleared I went over to The Brough and watched from the eastern end, a new experience but in these conditions just the perfect place.

 From the causeway looking east

Unfortunately I was accompanied by "The Hound" which didn't help with the concentration (winding the lead around the tripod legs and pulling is a favourite trick). Nonetheless I continued to pick up shearwaters, some of which were close. Highlight of the watch was at 2.15 when the scope was suddenly full of Minke Whale, an excellent view, repeated once before it disappeared into the deep and choppy water to the west. I returned to Pt of Buckoy with eldest offspring who was apparently starving to death. Fortified by soup and veggy burger I continued inbetween daughter flinging  herself down the cliff. Ending at 4.00 I was pleased with the shearwater total, bearing in mind the distractions, also seen were eight Knot, one Arctic Skua, two Arctic Terns and about 30 Puffin. Just one Kittiwake were seen which was interesting considering their frequency of late.

Adult Turnstone

Earlier on I'd enjoyed sifting through a good few waders on the beach, including 17 summer plumaged Sanderling, four Knot and 66 Ringed Plovers.


Earlier still The Shunan had held four Black-tailed Godwits, the first for a while, and a Green Sandpiper, the first of the year and briefly available from the garden although I failed to accomplish that elusive tick.

Tonight the moth trap is set.

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