Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Seatrack Update: Early Oct Survey

This coming weekend (Sat 6th/Sun 7th Oct) sees the sixth Seatrack survey of the season taking place, with a start time of 08:35am. Please note that Saturday 6th Oct will be the priority day so as to complement other FAME surveys being conducted by our partners along the Western European seaboard, also on that date. If you would like to take part in this international seabird census then get in touch with Niall Keogh at seatrack@birdwatchireland.ie for details.

The previous mid September survey saw the beginning of a turnover in species composition, typical for the latter half of the seawatching season. Manx Shearwaters were well represented on the West coast but present in low numbers or almost absent from sites along the East & South. Sooty Shearwaters held their own throughout with triple figure counts at several locations, typical for the time of year whilst a total of 8 Balearic Shearwaters were noted. Furthermore, Leach’s Petrels were far more numerous than Storm Petrels, skuas outnumbered terns, auk passage picked up, quite a few Grey Phalaropes & divers put in an appearance and some Long-tailed Skuas, Sabine’s Gulls & Little Gulls were also seen.

The forecast for the weekend looks as if calm, anti-cyclonic conditions will prevail on Saturday with a chance of moderate-strong South East winds along the South coast on Sunday.

Best of luck to all this weekend,

Niall Keogh
Seatrack co-ordinator



Some mid September Seatrack sightings as follows: (E = East, W = West, S = South, N = North & M = Milling)

Friday 14th September 2012

Black Head, Co. Clare (Paul Troake)
1 W Balearic Shearwater, 800 W Manx Shearwater, 1 W Leach’s Petrel, 1 E Great Northern Diver, 1 Great Skua (Bonxie), 1 juv W Pomarine Skua, 15 Arctic Skua, 2 W Arctic Tern, 500 W Gannet, 150 W Kittiwake & 700 W Razorbill & Guillemot.

Bridges of Ross, Co. Clare (Niall T. Keogh et al.)
All birds heading W: 1 Balearic Shearwater, 123 Sooty Shearwater, 1,000 Manx Shearwater, 1 Blue Fulmar, 32 Leach’s Petrel, 8 Common Scoter, 18 Red-throated Diver, 71 Great Skua (Bonxie), 4 Pomarine Skua, 39 Arctic Skua, 3 juv Long-tailed Skua, 1 adult Sabine’s Gull, 35 Sandwich Tern, 28 Arctic Tern, 20 Grey Phalaropes & 5 Puffin.

Saturday 15th September 2012

Bloody Foreland, Co. Donegal (Chris Ingram, Frank Turpin & Gareth Doherty)
6 W Sooty Shearwater, 145 W Manx Shearwater, 1 W Eider, 4 W Common Scoter, 9 W Red-throated Diver, 5 W Great Northern Diver, 26 W Great Skua (Bonxie), 15 W Arctic Skua, 2 W Skua sp., 2 W Sandwich Tern, 1 W Common Tern, 5 W Arctic Tern, 2 W Black Guillemot & 1 W Puffin.

Black Head, Co. Clare (Paul Troake)
32 W Manx Shearwater, 1 M Leach’s Petrel, 4 W Common Scoter, 1 E Great Northern Diver, 3 M Grey Phalarope, 3 W Great Skua (Bonxie), 3 W & 1 M Arctic Skua, 1 W Sandwich Tern, 4 W Arctic Tern & 2 W Black Guillemot.

Bridges of Ross, Co. Clare (Niall T. Keogh et al.)
All birds heading W: 1 Balearic Shearwater, 87 Sooty Shearwater, 700 Manx Shearwater, 13 Leach’s Petrel, 3 Common Scoter, 39 Light-bellied Brent Goose, 4 Red-throated Diver, 1 Great Northern Diver, 23 Great Skua (Bonxie), 1 dark Pomarine Skua, 17 Arctic Skua, 2 juv Long-tailed Skua, 12 Sandwich Tern, 9 Arctic Tern, 2 Grey Phalarope, 800+ Razorbill & Guillemot & 5 Puffin.

Dursey Island, Co. Cork (Kieran Finch, A. Mee, C. Finch & D. Cooke)
392 N Manx Shearwater, 10 S & 174 N Sooty Shearwater, 4 N Common Scoter, 1 N Arctic Skua & 8 M Harbour Porpoise.

Helvick Head, Co. Waterford (Colum Flynn, Sharon Hogan & Daniel Weldon)
1 Balearic Shearwater, 4 Manx Shearwater, 4 Pomarine Skua & 12 Arctic Skua.

Brownstown Head, Co. Waterford (Paul M. Walsh)
2 W & 2 E Manx Shearwater, 1 W & 3 E Common Scoter, 1 W Great Northern Diver, 3 W Great Skua (Bonxie), 1 W Arctic Skua, 1 W juv Sabine’s Gull & 6 W Puffin.

Carnsore Point, Co. Wexford (Kieran Grace)
334 W & 134 E Manx Shearwater, 1 W & 1 E Common Scoter, 1 Teal, 1 W Red-throated Diver,  5 W Great Skua (Bonxie), 2 W Arctic Skua, 40 M ‘Commic’ Tern, 300 W & 105 E Gannet, 348 W & 113 E Razorbill & Guillemot.

Clogher Head, Co. Louth (Ger Murray)
16 M Common Scoter, 80 S Light-bellied Brent Goose & 4 N Red-throated Diver.

Sunday 16th September 2012

Annagh Head, Co. Mayo (Dave Suddaby)
26 Sooty Shearwater, 29 Great Skua (Bonxie) & 1 Lapland Bunting.

Bridges of Ross, Co. Clare (Niall T. Keogh et al.)
All birds heading W: 4 Balearic Shearwater, 223 Sooty Shearwater, 3,100 Manx Shearwater, 45 Leach’s Petrel, 3 Storm Petrel, 3 Common Scoter, 6 Red-throated Diver, 1 Great Northern Diver, 19 Great Skua (Bonxie), 1 Pomarine Skua, 5 Arctic Skua, 3 juv Long-tailed Skua, 2 Little Gull, 1 Sanwich Tern, 22 Arctic Tern, 1 juv Black Tern, 35 Grey Phalarope, 3 Puffin, 1 American Golden Plover (in adjacent field), 3 Common Dolphin & 2 Ocean Sunfish.

Monday 17th September 2012

Wicklow Head, Co. Wicklow (Steve Newton)

1 N Manx Shearwater, 4 S & 1 N Common Scoter, 3 S & 1 N Red-throated Diver, 1 S Arctic Skua, 6 S Sandwich Tern, 1 Otter & 5 Harbour Porpoise.

Arctic Skuas at The Bridges of Ross, Sept 2012 © Kris De Rouck
Bonxie at The Bridges of Ross, Sept 2012 © Kris De Rouck
American Golden Plover at The Bridges of Ross, Sept 2012 © Kris De Rouck

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