… a Seawatch!
Flamborough Head: 11th September 2013
Paving the way, seawatching off Flamborough Head in evening of 9th Sept. produced a full breach Minke Whale, followed on 10th Sept. by 10’s of Sooty Shearwater, 1 juv. Long-tailed Skua, juvenile Yellow-legged Gull and 3 Blue Fulmar. The morning of 11th looked the most promising:
Joined by regulars Phil C., Craig T., Andrews L. and A., and several visitors, I watched from 6:15 to 9:30am. The day after the strongest NW winds. Some numbers from my time:
110 Sooty Shearwaters
4 juvenile Long-tailed Skuas
2nd winter Caspian Gull (6th record for Flamborough)
2 Balearic Shearwaters
1 adult Sabine’s Gull
2 Blue Fulmar
Plus quite a few Manx Shearwater, Arctic and Great Skuas, ducks including Pintail, Teal, Wigeon, Common and 1 Velvet Scoter, Tufted Duck, Red-throated Diver and Little Gull (and a wacky all-white Black-headed Gull).
This 2nd winter Caspian Gull was a surprising bonus. Large gull regularly pass the head in front of the ‘seawatch spot’. This one caught my eye immediately. It dropped down as to look for food briefly and then flew through. Thankfully all got on it. Previous records from Flamborough include 4 juveniles (one here) and a 4th winter type (here) (thanks to Alan ‘Birdguides’ Tilmouth).
Velvet and Common Scoter. 11th Sept. I like to push the limits of what can be photographed on a seawatch. This Velvet Scoter was nearly ‘half way out’- which is a long way. I had to get someone to tell me when they passed a marker as I couldn’t reliably make them out through the view finder.
Casting back a week ago to Thursday 5th Sept. I took lovely daughter Abi on boat trip out of Staithes, North Yorkshire. This was part of exploratory trip with fab colleagues from Yorkshire Coast Nature. A recce. In flat calm conditions we had super views of up to 4 Minke Whale including large bull and few close seabirds, like the Sooty Shearwater below.