Wednesday 6 May 2015

Arctic Skuas

Field sketches of 2 arctic skuas off Orcombe Point.
There were 2 arctic skuas lingering off Orcombe Point this afternoon. I again watched from the raised beach huts. Otherwise 20+ sandwich tern and a single guillemot were the only other birds of note. The skuas were using the classic 'watch and wait' technique - sitting for periods on the sea and then taking off on a long, low, wave-hugging 'stealth' flight before whipping up vertically to harry the sandwich terns. I watched them for a good hour from 4pm and did a few sketches.
An hour long early morning vigil, from the same spot, produced 17+ sandwich tern, 3 fulmar, 3+ common gull, 2 manx shearwater, 3 swallow, 1 common scoter and a decent count of 18+ great northern diver, this time all heading purposefully south.
The estuary produced 50+ whimbrel and 2 bar-tailed godwit this evening, with 3 house martin west across the estuary.

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