Tuesday 7 August 2012

Seawatching off Porthgwarra

With the weather being favourable for seawatching, I've spent the last three days at Porthgwarra.  I missed the highlight of 115 Cory's Shearwater on Friday last week but was content with three birds giving good views on Saturday. The adult Sabine's Gull on Saturday was the first I've seen at this site, this species being far more regular on the north coast. In addition on Saturday, the following were logged: two Great Shearwater, eight Sooty Shearwater, ten Balearic Shearwater and a distant Pomarine Skua.

Sunday was quieter, mainly because the wind was cyclonic and variable.  The highlight was just five Sooty Shearwater and five Balearic Shearwater.  The latter species has been suprisingly scarce so far this autumn.  A single Puffin was also seen.

Today (Tues 7th Aug) was much better with a south westerly breeze and dull grey overcast viewing conditions.  The highlight was a close Great Shearwater showing its pale rump and black cap.  The adult Pomarine Skua with a full set of "spoons" was impressive too.  Whilst Balearic Shearwater is scarce, Pomarine Skua seems to be regular this year.  I missed another Cory's but the nine Sooty's, seven Bonxies, two Arctic Skuas, two Choughs feeding in front of us and four Basking Sharks were good value.

Library image: Great Shearwater, from Scillonian (Aug 2008).

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