Monday, 31 August 2015

Strumble Head (31 Aug 15)

Time: 0600 - 1800
Weather: Sunny
Wind: N (F5-6)


Sooty Shearwater - 1
Balearic Shearwater - 3
Storm Petrel - 1
Arctic Skua - 7 (3D, 3P, 1J)
Pomarine Skua - 3 (2P with spoons, 1J)
Great Skua - 2
Mediterranean Gull - 2 (1st W)
Sabine's Gull - 1 (Ad Sum)
Little Gull - 1 (1st W)
Sandwich Tern - 83
Comic Tern - 3
Black Tern - 1
Common Scoter - 312 (61F, 251M)
Teal - 3
Grey Plover - 1
Grey Phalarope - 7
Turnstone - 3
Dunlin - 12
Sanderling - 4
Knot - 9
Grey Heron - 1

Sunfish - 1
Common Porpoise - showing all day and often seen tail slapping and riding the big rollers

* Barolo Shearwater seen for at least 1 1/2 minutes at 1625 at good range and in good light.  My second from Strumble Head (Almost 15 years to the day - previous record 1 Sep 2000).

First spotted at bearing of 1 o'clock  - flew in to tide race and West to bearing of 11:30, then due North for short distance then back East to bearing of 12o'clock, then due North for short distance and then a bearing of NW and away.

Cracking views.  First spotted as an "auk type" bird due not to the way it was flying but by the amount of white on the body/head.  (Auks had started to fly today - about 20 seen).

Very white body and sides of face.  Body shorter than Manx and maybe even bit more plump.  Very noticeably shorter wings and blunter tips compared to Manx.  Appeared to have slightly broader wings also. 

Flight different to the Manx around it at the time.  They were doing short flapping stints followed by shears in the strong wind.  The Barolo stuck with longer flapping stints with occasional short glides - never sheared.  Stayed low at all times.  Wings held in a low bow when not flapping.  Very small size very noticeable when it turned to go due North, short wings made keeping on it hard work.

Flying in and out of sunny and dark patches of water so upper wing changing from midtone brown to black accordingly.  When in the shade patches and at its closest a slightly paler rear edge to secondaries was visible but this was by no means easy to see.