Thursday, 23 May 2013

23rd May

As the wind had picked up and was still NNW, seawatching was again the order of the day with sessions from the point at Westness in both the morning and afternoon producing some excellent spring totals, especially of Skuas. The highlight was a total of 45 Long-tailed Skuas including a fabulous group of eight which spent 15 minutes resting on Torness until they were scattered by one of the territorial Bonxies and 12 Pomarine Skuas which flew though in several groups.   Other species seen during these watches included 17 Great Skuas, 4 Arctic Skuas, a late Little Auk, a Manx Shearwater, 130 Gannets, 54 Kittiwakes, two Common Terns, 67 Puffins and 240 large Auk sp. Land based observations were limited but did include the 1st summer Glaucous Gull still frequenting the recently ploughed fields, the male Red-backed Shrike still at Ancum and a late Snow Bunting.

Long-tailed Skuas - definately worth leopard crawling across wet grass for!
(Photos - Simon Davies)

To put todays movement into context, there have only been 33 previous Long-tailed Skuas recorded in spring on North Ronaldsay on just 14 dates.

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