Saturday, 1 August 2020

28th-31st July

A rather quiet period in the month without a great deal to shout about. The 28th was frankly disgusting weather wise and didn't see much more than a few outstanding indoor jobs getting done! However a break in the weather the next day would allow us to venture out and see what the rain had left behind. It wasn't a great deal if I'm honest, a Common Tern was on Bewan with around 480 Arctic Terns, a brief sea-watch produced 2 Sooty Shearwaters and 5 Manx Shearwater and another Long-tailed Skua surfaced giving us our 14th bird of a remarkable influx, away from the birding side of things Gavin left for uni on the 29th, he's been a huge help this spring and summer especially on the ringing side of things and we look forward to seeing him again in October. 
With high winds dropping to almost nothing on the 30th the day was dominated by sea-watching and it proved fruitful. 332 Manx Shearwaters, 38 Sooty Shearwater, 18 Storm Petrel, 87 Puffin and good counts of commoner sea-birds made for a healthy day total and fairly constant views of Harbour Porpoise weren't bad in between Shearwater flocks either! The sea-watch did also produce one live and one not so alive Risso's Dolphin, the Fulmars, needless to say, preferred the not so alive animal. 
Finally the 31st saw what seemed to indicate the exit of the Long-tailed Skuas, they've entertained us for a while now and have proved an invaluable learning tool for those of us that spent long hours photographing and enjoying them! Away from Skuas a group of 43 Knot were on Bewan along with 8 on Sjaver giving us our highest count of the Autumn so far. It was otherwise a quiet day to round off the month, the final highlight being a Shoveler dazzled in the evening. With August looming we'll be back into passerine migration again soon and we're looking forward to it! 
Shoveler                                                                             GG

                                             Manx Shearwaters                                             GG

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