Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Birdy day at Strumble...

Recently the sea mammals at Strumble have been taking centre stage but today with perfect conditions (gentle if cold SSE  breeze and sunshine) we worked hard for a few porpoises.
However on the way in I spooked a female Kestrel off a roadside fence post which took up position on another just across the field.

Scanning out to sea searching for finds was less rewarding but a steady movement of divers mainly heading west was nice to see

Not great pic's due to distance and incompetence but they give a flavour and over an hour and a half in the morning I clocked 14 passing by 13 west, 1 east and odd ones on the water.There wera about twenty Scoter heading west, only one gannet also a steady too-ing and fro-ing of skeins of Auks as well as parties of mainly Black Headed but also a  fair smattering of \Common Gulls,

Kittiwakes and Fulmers being significant by their almost total absence! Only a single Gannet was seen but scruffy parties of mainly immature gulls wer seen following the porpoises but only when they started feeding with a certain amount of splashing. 

To see a Herring Gull dive in among some feeding porpoises and grab a fish about six to eight inches long confirmed my impression that they do actually (at least occasionally) profit from this practice!...The profit was a false one though. as a chase ensued and the Greater Black Back pair eventually out maneuvered it within a swarm of lesser gulls and pinched the catch!