Weather: F5 W, generally overcast but good vis. Some brief squalls (am).
Observer(s): Niall T. Keogh, Noel Keogh, Jason McManus, Gordon McAdam & Mark Gibson.
Sooty Shearwater: 201
Manx Shearwater: 403
Leach’s Petrel: 16
Storm Petrel: 3
Common Scoter: 6 males + 2 females
Red-throated Diver: 3 summer plumage
Great Skua (Bonxie): 28
Pomarine Skua: 1
Arctic Skua: 2
Long-tailed Skua: 2 juvs. (Mark Gibson & Gordon McAdam)
Kittiwake: 8 incl. 4 juvs.
Arctic Tern: 1
Sandwich Tern: 10
Grey Phalarope: 3
Raven: 1 at sea heading West!
Common Dolphin: 5-8 incl. one juv. milling/feeding.
A nice Sooty passage along with a couple of awesome skuas this morning made for a pleasant end to my annual extended seawatching session at The Bridges of Ross.
Despite the winds being in our favour for the past couple of weeks, there was no repeat of the 2011 Sabine’s deluge, Manxies were well down on previous years and overall, rare seabirds were at a premium. Saying that, 2012 brought other highlights in the form of decent numbers of Sooties, Balearics & Poms, some excellent juvenile Long-tailed Skuas, the much sought after Barolo’s Shearwater, several North American waders and the most Leatherback Turtles I’ve ever seen in a single season. Awesome!
With all this on offer in a relatively ‘quiet’ year it’s no wonder then why The Bridges continues to attract birders from across Europe. Ireland, Scotland, Wales, England, Guernsey, France, Belgium & Finland were all represented by folk travelling here in order to witness the spectacle that is seabird migration. So, many thanks goes to those intrepid maniacs who I met over the past few weeks for their company & witty banter which kept the spirits up & momentum going during some of the particularly long, dull afternoons! I’m sure I’ll be seeing you all out here again soon. And I can’t go without acknowledging the support of the local community on Loop Head. They kept us fed & watered, gave us beds to sleep in, allowed us access to their lands & put up with our never ending collective will to wish bad weather upon the area!
So now it’ll be an autumn of continuing the Seatrack project for myself at East coast sites such as Dalkey in Dublin & Carnsore Point in Wexford but I’ll be keeping a close eye on those weather charts. Fancy a bit of Pomarine Skua passage in October so I do...
|Pomarine Skua © Niall Keogh|
|Juvenile Long-tailed Skua. The mother of all 'record' shots but you get the idea. Cold plumage tones, long black tail feathers, pale collar & slim, tern-like structure. What a bird! © Niall Keogh|