Showing posts with label Dursey Island. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Dursey Island. Show all posts

Monday, 16 September 2013

Seatrack Update: early Sept 2013 survey sightings

The fourth Seatrack survey of the year took place on Sat 7th/Sun 8th September. Northerly winds throughout the weekend dissipated passage for the most part but some quality species such as Balearic Shearwater, Long-tailed Skua, Little Gull & Black Tern were still recorded along with excellent sightings of marine 'megafauna'.

The next survey weekend takes place this coming Sat 21st/Sun 22nd September with a start time of 08:10am.

If you would like to take part in upcoming Seatrack surveys then please get in touch with Niall 
Keogh at seatrack@birdwatchireland.ie

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

Saturday 7th September

Black Head, Co. Clare (Paul Troake)
69 W + 8 E + 20 M Manx Shearwater, 1 W + 1 E Great Northern Diver & 5+ M Bottlenose Dolphin.

The Bridges of Ross, Co. Clare (Niall T. Keogh, Noel Keogh, John N. Murphy, Keith Bennett et al.)
Full day totals (all birds heading West): 1 Balearic Shearwater, 30 Sooty Shearwater, 1 Storm Petrel, 3 Common Scoter, 12 Great Skua (Bonxie), 7 Arctic Skua, 2 juvenile Long-tailed Skua, 2 juv/1st-winter Little Gull, 2 Sandwich Tern, 7 Arctic Tern, 10+ Bottlenose Dolphin, 3 Harbour Porpoise & 4 Ocean Sunfish.

Dursey Island, Co. Cork (Derek A. Scott & Joanna E. Scott)
1 N Balearic Shearwater, 5 N + 130 M Sooty Shearwater, 2 N + 20 M Manx Shearwater, 2 N Common Scoter, 3 N Great Skua (Bonxie), 3 N Arctic Skua, 1 N Sandwich Tern, 3 N Common Tern, 42 N Arctic Tern, 91 N 'Commic' Tern, 10 N Common Dolphin & 8 M Harbour Porpoise.

Brownstown Head, Co. Waterford (Jonathan Bulfin, Darragh Sinnott & Paul M. Walsh)
30 E Manx Shearwater, 1 M Skua sp. & 1 E Puffin.

Coliemore Harbour, Co. Dublin (Stephen McAvoy)
2 N Manx Shearwater, 16 N Common Scoter, 1 N + 1 S Red-throated Diver, 7 N + 2 S Mediterranean Gull, 1 N + 2 S Black Guillemot, 1 N Puffin & 2 N Harbour Porpoise.
 
Sunday 8th September

The Bridges of Ross, Co. Clare (Niall T. Keogh, Noel Keogh, Keith Bennett et al.)
Full day totals (all birds heading West):  4 Sooty Shearwater, 1 Great Northern Diver, 15 Great Skua (Bonxie), 1 Pomarine Skua, 16 Arctic Skua, 1 juvenile Long-tailed Skua, 3 Arctic Tern, 20+ Bottlenose Dolphin, 2 Common Dolphin & 1 Common Seal.


Ram Head, Co. Waterford (Andrew Malcolm)
3 Manx Shearwater, 1 Storm Petrel & 1 Common Scoter.

Carnsore Point, Co. Wexford (Kieran Grace)
12 E + 66 W Manx Shearwater, 1 W Great Skua (Bonxie), 1 W Black Tern, 12 W Sandwich Tern & 300 W 'Commic' Tern.


Juvenile Arctic Skua, The Bridges of Ross, Co. Clare, 7th Sept 2013 © John N. Murphy

Monday, 29 July 2013

Seatrack Update: late July 2013 survey

The first Seatrack survey of the year took place on Sat 20th/Sun 21st July. With calm weather prevailing, a major passage of seabirds was not to be expected! Saying that, some nice sightings were logged from the various headlands surveyed right along the coast from Donegal to Dublin.

Perhaps most often thought of as being a winter visitor, some Common Scoter actually begin to arrive at post-breeding moulting sites around the Irish coast in mid-summer & a July seawatch can often reveal quite a few passing by. This was certainly the case during the Seatrack survey in question with many observers reporting flocks on the move. Another species which undergoes a strong post-breeding movement at this time of year is Mediterranean Gull, several of which were seen from sites in Leinster, on the move from breeding colonies in North West continental Europe (France/Belgium/Netherlands etc.) to traditional staging areas such as South Dublin Bay.

With the Critically Endangered Balearic Shearwater being the focal species of Seatrack, it was good to get one logged on the first survey session of the year, seen heading South past Kilcoole on the evening of the 20th. This bird, in the company of a light passage of Manx Shearwaters, was most likely moving between feeding areas around frontal systems at either end of the Irish Sea. A handful of 'Near Threatened' Sooty Shearwaters were noted from Bloody Foreland & Dursey Island, with an impressive Southward movement of over 7,600 Manx Shearwaters at the latter also.

The next Seatrack survey takes place this weekend (start time 06:45am), with a priority date set for Saturday 3rd August, to complement long running seawatching surveys being undertaken by FAME partners along the West coast of continental Europe. The current forecast gives a low pressure breaking against the South West coast from Wednesday, lasting until Saturday morning when some decent, local seabird movements may linger on for those seawatching between Cork & Wexford or potentially a more active passage along the West coast between Mayo & Clare.

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 on how to take part.

Some July Seatrack sightings reported so far as follows: (E = East, W = West, N = North, S = South & M = Milling)

Saturday 20th July

Bloody Foreland., Co. Donegal (Chris Ingram)
1 N + 1 S Sooty Shearwater, 81 N + 63 S + 200 M Manx Shearwater, 4 N + 1 S Storm Petrel, 2 S Common Scoter, 2 S + 1 M Great Northern Diver, 2 S Diver sp., 1 N Great Skua (Bonxie), 3 S Arctic Skua, 2 N Sandwich Tern, 4 N + 10 S Arctic Tern & 8 N Puffin.


Kilcoole, Co. Wicklow (Niall T. Keogh)
1 S Balearic Shearwater, 370 N + 170 S Manx Shearwater, 25 S Common Scoter, 1 N Red-throated Dover, 2 N Sandwich Tern, 9 N Common Tern, 1 N (juvenile) Mediterranean Gull, 4 N + 1 S Puffin, 2 M Black Guillemot, 2 N Harbour Porpoise & 3 M Grey Seal.

Sunday 21st July


Dursey Island, Co. Cork (Derek A. Scott & Joanna E. Scott)

1 S Sooty Shearwater, 109 N + 7,617 S Manx Shearwater, 1 N Great Skua (Bonxie), 1 S Common Gull, 1 N Basking Shark & 10 M Harbour Porpoise.

Galley Head, Co. Cork (Colin Barton)
199 W + 493 E Manx Shearwater, 15 W Common Scoter & 1 W Great Skua (Bonxie). 

Ram Head, Co. Waterford (Andrew Malcolm) 
560 W + 171 E + 150 M Manx Shearwater, 58 W Common Scoter & 11 W Great Skua (Bonxie).

Brownstown Head, Co. Waterford (Paul M. Walsh) 
85 W + 460 E Manx Shearwater, 62 W + 11 E Common Scoter, 2 W Great Skua (Bonxie), 1 E + 10 W Sandwich Tern, 1 M (adult) + 3 W (2 adults + a juvenile) Mediterranean Gull & 7 W + 1 E Puffin. 

Carnsore Point, Co. Wexford (Kieran Grace) 
138 W + 174 E Manx Shearwater, 6 E + 86 W Common Scoter, 1 E Little Tern, 100+ M 'Commic' Terns & 5 E Puffin. 

Wicklow Head, Co. Wicklow (Steve Newton) 
44 N + 50 S Manx Shearwater, 4 N Sandwich Tern & 3 S (adult + 2 juveniles) Mediterranean Gull. 

Coliemore Harbour, Dalkey, Co. Dublin (Stephen McAvoy) 
253 N + 4 S Manx Shearwater, 11 N + 8 S Common Scoter, 6 N + 4 S Sandwich Tern, 1 S Black Guillemot, 2 N + 2 S Puffin, 2 N Tufted Duck, 1 M Harbour Porpoise & 1 M unidentified Shark sp. (not Basking Shark).


Common Scoter © Mark Carmody

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Seatrack Update: Early November Survey


This coming weekend (Sat 3rd/Sun 4th Nov) sees the final Seatrack survey of the season taking place, with a start time of 08:30amPlease note that Saturday 3rd Nov 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.

We are now into
Little Auk season so be sure to keep an eye out for these charming plankton feeders this weekend. They have become surprisingly rare in Ireland in recent years but are still likely to be found on late autumn/early winter seawatches along the West coast when favourable weather conditions prevail. A large Northward movement in The North Sea took place on Monday when some 4,903 passed The Farne Islands alone!

The forecast for the next few days looks good along the West coast with moderate-strong West & Northwest winds coming from a low pressure off the Atlantic coast of Scotland with some draw further to the North. Winds will be strongest on Thursday & Saturday but weakening into Sunday. Could be the last good seawatch of the season?!

Best of luck to all this weekend,

Niall Keogh
Seatrack co-ordinator

Little Auk © John Murphy
Some mid October Seatrack sightings as follows: (E = East, W = West, S = South, N = North & M = Milling)

Saturday 20th October


Bloody Foreland, Co. Donegal (Chris Ingram)
15 S & 1 N Eider, 78 S & 141 N Barnacle Goose, 8 S & 2 N Red-throated Diver, 3 S & 4 N Great Northern Diver, 1 S Great Skua (Bonxie) & 6 S Bottlenose Dolphin.

Dursey Island, Co. Cork (Derek A. Scott, Kieran Finch, Paul Rowe, David Cooke & Connor Finch)
1 S Sooty Shearwater, 1 S Storm Petrel, 1 N Common Scoter, 413 S Kittiwake, 899 S Guillemot/Razorbill, 1 N Great Skua (Bonxie), 1 N Pomarine Skua, 2 N Puffin, 2 S & 7 M Harbour Porpoise.

Galley Head, Co. Cork (Colin Barton)
19 W Sooty Shearwater, 3 W Manx Shearwater, 7 W Common Scoter, 3 W Great Skua (Bonxie), 1 W Mediterranean Gull & 274 W Kittiwake.

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

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

November Seatrack Update

A run of Atlantic weather systems moving through over the past two weeks produced some nice tallies for the time of year with late Balearic, Sooty & Great Shearwaters noted along with all four species of skuas & a few Grey Phalaropes. A flock of up to 450 Little Gulls off the Murrough coastline in Co. Wicklow on 22nd/23rd October was a nice find, but to be expected in the right weather conditions at this time of year. 

Little Gull (Dick Coombes)
The final Seatrack survey of the 2011 season takes place this weekend 5th/6th November starting at 08:30am. Whilst the forecast for the weekend seems rather unfavorable for any 'decent' seawatching, early Novemeber can often throw up a few surprises, with Little Auk certainly topping the seasonal wish list. Observers in the south-west should still be on the look out for our target species, Balearic Shearwater, which can often be found here well into the winter.

If you're interested in undertaking a Seatrack survey then e-mail Niall Keogh at seatrack@birdwatchireland.ie

Little Auk, coming to a bathtub near you! (Declan Murphy)

Location: Bloody Foreland, Co. Donegal
Date: 19/10/2011
Time: 08:00-11:05
Weather: F3 N-NW, showers & poor-mod visibility.
Observer(s): Chris Ingram

Great Skua (Bonxie): 23 W
Pomarine Skua: 7 W
Arctic Skua: 5 W
Skua sp: 6 W
Sabine's Gull: 12 W
Arctic Tern: 1 W
Red-throated Diver: 7 W
Great Northern Diver: 11 W & 1 E
Diver sp: 2 W & 1 E
Gannet: 164 W & 5 E
Kittiwake: 1431 W & 4 E
Guillemot: 1 W
Auk sp: 81 W & 16 E
Red-breasted Merganser: 36 W
Barnacle Goose: 54 W & 32 E

Location: Dursey Island, Co. Cork
Date: 17/10/2011
Time: 08:00-10:00
Weather: F6-7 W-SW, dry with excellent visibility
Observer(s): Derek A. Scott

Manx Shearwater: 2 N
Sooty Shearwater: 3 N
Pomarine Skua: 1 N
Arctic Skua: 3 N
Skua sp: 1 M (Arctic/Pomarine sat on the sea)
Fulmar: 190 N
Kittiwake: 105 N
Auk sp: 231 N

Harbour Porpoise: 6 M

"Undertaken from the comfort of our house, 2.2 km from the extreme south-western tip of the island. Our house is situated about 450 feet above sea-level and faces due south, so that we have a commanding view of the sea between Mizen Head and the tip of Dursey. Sea-watching can be quite good from the door of our house when there is a strong wind from the north-west or west and most birds are tracking WNW into the wind on a course from Mizen Head to Dursey Tip. A good telescope is, however, essential. The disadvantage is that we seldom see anything that is heading south-west past the tip from the north side of the island, as this is much too far away."

Location: Bloody Foreland, Co. Donegal
Date: 15/10/2011
Time: 08:25-11:35
Weather: F2-4 SW, light-nil rain in poor-good visibility
Observer(s): Ralph Sheppard & Chris Ingram

Manx Shearwater: 1 W
Sooty Shearwater: 2 W
Storm Petrel: 1 W
Great Skua (Bonxie): 1 W & 1 E
Arctic Skua: 3 W
Skua sp: 2 E & 1 M
'Commic' Tern: 1 W
Common Scoter: 8 W
Red-throated Diver: 1 W
Great Northern Diver: 13 W & 4 E
Diver sp: 1 W & 1 E
Fulmar: 1 W
Gannet: 535 W & 71 E
Kittiwake: 28 W & 4 E
Guillemot: 26 W
Razorbill: 31 W
Auk sp: 107 W
Black Guillemot: 1 W
Red-breasted Merganser: 1 E

Basking Shark: 1 W

Location: Brownstown Head, Co. Waterford
Date: 15/10/2011
Time: 08:55-12:00
Weather: 5-6 SW, vis moderate, some drizzle
Observer(s): Paul Walsh & Jonathon Bulfin

Great Skua (Bonxie): 2 E
Arctic Skua: 1 E & 1 W
Fulmar: 2 W
Gannet: 20 E, 29 W
Red-throated Diver: 1 W
Diver sp: 1 W
Wigeon: 13 W
Shelduck: 3 W
Kittiwake: 17 E & 159 W
Sandwich Tern: 1 W
Auk sp: 27 E & 34 W

Tuesday, 11 October 2011

Mid October Seatrack Update

The last Seatrack Target Weekend (1st/2nd Oct) was fairly quiet to say the least with light winds or heavy sea mist hampering seawatch efforts at most sites. The fact that quite a few scarce passerines were picked up at the seawatch sites says it all! 


Last weekend saw some good strong W-NW winds however, resulting in some very nice tallies along the West coast highlighted by plenty of auks, Bonxies, Pomarine Skuas & a smattering of Long-tailed Skuas. Numbers of shearwaters overall dropped off as expected, yet tallies of Manxies & Sooties made it into triple figures at some sites. The first wave of divers, mergansers, diving duck & Barnacle Geese was also picked up on, particularly in the North & North West.

The next Seatrack survey takes places this weekend 15th/16th Oct starting at 08:50. Again the forecast looks settled but the West may get some ok winds on the Sunday. This will be the penultimate survey of the 2011 season. Saying that, quite a few Balearic Shearwaters can often be recorded during this time, especially along the south coast, so do keep an eye out. 

If you're interested in taking part in a Seatrack survey then e-mail Niall Keogh at seatrack@birdwatchireland.ie


Barnacle Goose (Dick Coombes)
Location: Fanad Head, Co. Donegal
Date: 09/10/2011
Time: 12:10-14:40
Weather: F3 W-NW, good visibility with no precipitation
Observer(s): Chris Ingram

Great Skua (Bonxie): 3 W
Pomarine Skua: 8 W
Arctic Skua: 1 W
Arctic Tern: 2 W
Common Scoter: 4 W
Red-throated Diver: 3 W
Great Northern Diver: 1 W
Diver sp: 2 E
Red-breasted Merganser: 2 W
Gannet: 80 milling offshore
Kittiwake: 33 W
Guillemot: 33 W
Razorbill: 52 W
Auk sp: 87 W
Merlin: 1 
Snow Bunting: 10

Location: Bloody Foreland, Co. Donegal
Date: 07/10/2011
Time: 08:15-13:50
Weather: F6 NW, good visibility with no precipitation
Observer(s): Ralph Sheppard, Chris Ingram & Gareth Doherty

Sooty Shearwater: 7 W
Manx Shearwater: 57 W
Leach's Petrel: 7 W
Grey Phalarope: 4 W
Great Skua (Bonxie): 156 W
Pomarine Skua: 77 W
Arctic Skua: 46 W
Skua sp: 17 W
Long-tailed Skua: 7 W
Sabine's Gull: 21 W
Common Tern: 4 W
Arctic Tern: 76 W
Eider: 10 W
Red-throated Diver: 7 W & 2 E
Great Northern Diver: 31 W & 4 E
Diver sp: 1 W & 5 E
Fulmar: 1 W
Gannet: 383 W & 48 E
Kittiwake: 646 W
Guillemot: 6 W
Razorbill: 18 W
Auk sp: 675 W
Barnacle Goose: 216 W
Brent Goose: 15 E
Teal: 4 W
Tufted Duck: 1 W
Red-breasted Merganser: 6 W
Snow Bunting: 3 W

Nice variety with good numbers of auks & skuas. Plenty of wildfowl & divers which is typical for this site at this time of year. 

Location: Bloody Foreland, Co. Donegal
Date: 06/10/2011
Time: 18:00-19:00
Weather: F8/9 W-NW
Observer(s): Gareth Doherty

Sooty Shearwater: 8
Great Skua (Bonxie): 45
Pomarine Skua: 8
Arctic Skua: 38
Plus "countless" Manx Shearwaters & Gannets

Location: Bloody Foreland, Co. Donegal
Date: 01/10/2011
Time: 08:05-11:15
Weather: F1-2 NE-N, excellent visibility with no precipitation.
Observer(s): Ralph Sheppard & Chris Ingram

Sooty Shearwater: 2 W
Manx Shearwater: 4 W
Great Skua (Bonxie): 4 W
Pomarine Skua: 1 W
Arctic Skua: 3 W
Sandwich Tern: 4 W
Arctic Tern: 1 E & 1 M
Common Scoter: 1 E
Red-throated Diver: 4 W & 2 E
Great Northern Diver: 6 W & 5 E
Diver sp: 3 W
Gannet: 366 W & 419 E
Kittiwake: 11 W & 3 E
Guillemot: 10 W
Razorbill: 78 W & 3 E
Auk sp: 254 W & 10 E
Black Guillemot: 2 W & 2 E

Bottlenose Dolphin: 10 W (incl. 2 large calves)

"Given the very settled weather, it could have been worse. The dolphins were amazing. Moving at speed just along the edge of the rocky shore, and surfing the only wave available, which even in these calm conditions is quite a substantial one running diagonally out from the shore at SW-NW, so we got a side view of the surfers in the green water."

Location: Carnsore Point, Co. Wexford
Date: 02/10/2011
Time: 08:30-10:00
Weather: F2-3 S, extremely poor visibility (<200m at times) due to heavy sea mist & drizzle.
Observer(s): Niall T. Keogh

Balearic Shearwater: 1 M
Manx Shearwater: 2 M
Great Skua (Bonxie): 3 M
Sandwich Tern: 2 W
Black Tern: 6 M (1 adult & 5 juveniles)
'Commic' Tern: c.120 M (approx. 90% Common & 10% Roseates)
Gannet: c.40 M
Kittiwake: 6 E & 4 M
Guillemot: 4 E & 2 M
Razorbill: 28 E & 28 M
Auk sp: 13 E
Yellow Wagtail: A juv/1st-winter flew west under the seawatch site
Lapland Bunting: 1 seen in flight & heard calling overhead

"All the action happened within the first 30 minutes with the majority of the birds listed above present in a single milling feeding flock just 300m offshore which dissipated rather quickly. The heavy mist enclosed soon after & hardly a bird could be seen for the next hour, but terns could still be recorded by ear!!!"

Location: Dursey Island, Co. Cork
Date: 01/10/2011
Time: 08:00-11:00
Weather: F3 NE decreasing to F1 NE, good visibility with no precipitation.
Observer(s): Derek A. Scott

Sooty Shearwater: 1 S
Manx Shearwater: 3 S
Great Skua (Bonxie): 2 S & 1 N
Pomarine Skua: 2 S
Common Scoter: 4 N
Great Northern Diver: 2 N
Fulmar: 2 S & 1 N
Kittiwake: 13 S & 6 N
Auk sp: 233 S, 287 N & 30 M 

Minke Whale: 1 N
Common Dolphin: 40 N
Harbour Porpoise: 12 M

"Herewith the sea-watch from the north-west tip of Dursey Island (from ‘Tea Bag Ledge’) on 1 October 2011. A fine dry morning with a light north-easterly breeze - not ideal for sea-watching. The Fulmars have suddenly all gone (and are now worth counting again!), and most of the Manx Shearwaters are long gone."

Monday, 26 September 2011

Seatrack @ Dursey Island

An update on some September seawatching by Derek & Joanna Scott from Dursey Island, Co. Cork. The season has been going pretty well for the guys so far with some nice movements of Sooty Shearwatears & a few treats like Great Shearwater, Long-tailed Skua & Sabine's Gull.

"Herewith the results of our three-hour sea-watches from the tip of Dursey Island on 10th & 17th  September. A south-westerly 6-7 and overcast conditions on 10th produced a good sea-watch by Dursey standards but the sea-watch yesterday (17th) – in a strong north-westerly after a week of westerlies – was outstanding."

Date: 10th September 2011
Time: 08:10-11:40
Weather: F6-7 SW, dry & very good visibility.
Observer(s): Derek A. Scott & Joanna E. Scott.

Great Shearwater: 1 South
Balearic Shearwater: 1 S
Sooty Shearwater: 209 S, 1 North & 100 Milling
Manx Shearwater: 228 S, 1 N & 75 M
Storm Petrel: 21 S
Great Skua (Bonxie): 1 S
Pomarine Skua: 1 S
Arctic Skua: 1 S
Sandwich Tern: 6 S
Common Tern: 7 S
Arctic Tern: 95 S
'Commic' Tern: 13 S
Common Scoter: 2 N
Fulmar: 200 M
Gannet: 2,000 M
Kittiwake: 8 S, 10 N & 4 M
Auk sp: 22 S & 50 M

Common Dolphin: 6
Harbour Porpoise: 5


Date: 17th September 2011 (Seatrack Target Weekend Survey)
Time: 07:30-11:00
Weather: F5-6 NW, one heavy shower & very good visibility.
Observer(s): Derek A. Scott & Joanna E. Scott.

Sooty Shearwater: 1,670 N & 3 S
Manx Shearwater: 46 N
Grey Phalarope: 7 N
Great Skua (Bonxie): 17 N & 5 S
Pomarine Skua: 2 immatures N
Arctic Skua: 2 N & 1 S
Sabine's Gull: 33 N (mostly adults)
Arctic Tern: 875 N
Kittiwake: 52 N & 1 S
Auk sp: 847 N

Mine Whale: 1
Harbour Porpoise: 20

"Most of the terns were pretty far out in large flocks battling northwest into a strong headwind. All that we could see well were Arctic Terns, and I guess that the vast majority, if not all, were Arctic."


"We have been doing sea-watches during the week as well, occasionally from the tip but also from the veranda of our house, which faces due south. Sea-watching from our house is OK in westerly and north-westerly winds, when birds are tracking WNW from the Mizen Head to the tip of Dursey, but the birds are pretty far out and we do not pick up birds heading south or south-west off the tip of Dursey. Today (18th Sept) I put in 3.5 hours (07:30 – 11:00), sitting in the door of our house with my scope wracked up to x60, and recorded the following:"

Sooty Shearwater: 1,158
Manx Shearwater: 6
Great Skua (Bonxie): 14
Arctic Skua: 1
Long-tailed Skua: 1
Sabine's Gull: 7
Arctic Tern: 124
Red-throated Diver: 1

"I guess there would have been a lot more off the tip, but it would have been pretty unpleasant out there, in a near gale from the north-west with heavy squally showers."