Monday, 24 August 2009

Skua Start

A gentle one and a half hour seawatch this morning to start the week, a light breeze and calm sea weren't ideal but at this time of year anything can happen. In fact this morning was a classic example, after arriving home and checking Birdguides, there had been a Cory's Shearwater reported past Whitburn c10.00am.

Common Scoter were the most numerous bird of the morning with 70N, 40S, almost all male. 25 Dunlin flew south and 20 Teal with a single Tufted Duck at the rear. Seven Shelduck flew north. Eight Manx Shearwater south.
Typical for the time of year small numbers of Arctic Skua moved past in both directions with four north and one south. Four were pale morph and one intermediate. The southbound bird came close in to chase a group of terns and turned out to be a 2nd summer moulting into 3rd winter.

Note the predominantly barred underwing on the last two images and the dark marks on the flanks along with the sharp demarcation between pale belly and dark undertail coverts.

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