Wednesday, 4 October 2017

4th October 2017

Weather:  NW 5-6, 6/8 cloud, moderate vis, decreasing later

The morning centred around seawatching again with a reasonable blow overnight keeping expectation levels up.

The seawatch took a while to get going although there were still plenty of Gannets (75), Common Scoter (3,500+) and Cormorants to look at.

A couple of Red-breasted Merganser were noted along with 7 Red-throated Diver, 12 Great Crested Grebe, but only a single Kittiwake today.  Auk numbers had also reduced significantly with only 14 Guillemot and 3 Razorbill counted. An immature Eider drifted out on the ebbing tide.

As expected in early October there were not large numbers of terns but six each of Sandwich and Common, along with two Arctic Terns and a single obliging Black Tern which was probably the highlight of seawatch as it spent at least 30 minutes just off the slipway at the North End bouncing backwards and forwards in the wind and dipping onto the sea's surface (see above and below).

Meanwhile, juvenile Gannets kept coming in very close to the hide one even taking a temporary rest on the sea just below the old Lifeboat Station.

Two Bonxies were the only skuas noted with one bird lingering on the water and the other powering through westwards (see below) showing no weakness in the face of a stiff wind.

Three more Leach's Petrels were noted all from high tide onwards.  With the wind strengthening and increasing rainfall overnight observers will be keen to see what is blown in tomorrow.

Pale-bellied Brents were clearly taking advantage of the north westerly airflow and arriving from Iceland with 41 counted as the tide dropped (60 having been noted on West Kirby salt marsh at high tide). 

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