Thursday, 25 February 2016


Generally a quite low year despite the improvement in September on the previous year. The biggest “Skua” day was a total count of all 4 species of 33 on 3rd September.

POMARINE SKUA Stercorarius pomarinus                                           

A total of 22 birds recorded all in Autumn between 28th July & 13th November. Max day count was the 4 on 28th July. Plumage / Age ratio was 16 Pale Phase, 1 Dark Phase & 5 Juveniles.

ARCTIC SKUA Stercorcarius parasiticus                                      

Monthly totals as follows;

         July                        Aug.                       Sept.                          Oct.                     Nov.

           2                          58                         137                            17                        8

No spring records, all recorded between 27th July & 20th November. Max daily count 22 on 3rd September. Plumage / Age ratio was 98 Pale Phase, 105 Dark Phase & 19 Juveniles.


LONG-TAILED SKUA Stercorcarius longicaudus                          

A total of 10 birds recorded in all, the first on 24th August with the last date being 21st November. Maximum day counts of 2 on 3rd September & 13th November. Apart from a 2nd calendar year bird on 13th November all were Juveniles.

GREAT SKUA Stercorcarius skua                                                                  

Monthly totals as follows;

       July                  Aug.                 Sept.                      Oct.                   Nov.               Dec.

          3                    25                     51                       2                    24                     4

A single winter record on 5th January, Maximum day count of 15 on 4th September which was the only double figure count of the year. The annual total of 110 was the lowest since 2007. Two birds flying north over Tresinwen in the afternoon  on 3rd October indicates overland passage can happen on occasion.

LITTLE GULL Larus minutus                                                                   

A total of 16 recorded, 2 Adult, a single 2nd year bird & 13 Juvenile/1st w.

MEDITERRANEAN GULL Larus melanocephalus

A total of 54 birds recorded, Maximum daily count of 6 on November 16th. The breakdown of age’s was 24 Adults, 7 2nd Summer & 23 Juvenile/1st w.

SABINE’S GULL Larus sabini                                                                    

A slight increase in 2015 but not significant, 10 birds recorded. In August 2 on 29th with singles on 22nd, 30th & 31st all Adults. In September 2 Adults & a Juvenile on 1st then another Adult on 22nd. The final record for the year being a Juvenile on 7th November.

KITTIWAKE Rissa tridactyla

Recorded throughout the year.

SANDWICH TERN Sterna sandvicensis                                          

Another  increase on the year previous as in last year with a total of 679 recorded, Maximum day count was 119 on 30th August.

COMMON TERN Sterna hirundo                                           

Only 2 recorded, singles on 12th & 15th September.

ARCTIC TERN Sterna paradisaea                                         

Another low return of just 3 recorded, 2 on 16th September & an early record on 28th July.



A total of 808 birds max. 430 on 23rd  August.

ROSEATE TERN Sterna dougallii                                           

Only 2 single birds recorded this year, 23rd & 29th August.

LITTLE TERN Sterna albifrons                                                       .

Four on 23rd August & a single on 3rd September were the only records this year.

BLACK TERN Chlidonias niger                                                          

A good year for this species with 149 recorded, Maximum count 105 on 23rd August.



Recorded throughout the year, large numbers moving on passage during the late autumn.

RAZORBILL Alca torda

As with the previous species, recorded throughout the year with sometimes large numbers going through in the late autumn.

PUFFIN Fratercula artica

A total of 79 birds recorded, max. 39 on 28th July.


COMMON PORPOISE Phocoena phocoena

Recorded on 63 of the 85 watches, very rarely absent but conditions on the rougher sea days make it difficult to observe them.

COMMON DOLPHIN Delphinius delphis ( Short Beaked )

A total of 249 individuals recorded maximum count 71 on 15th September. Possibly a record year for the species at Strumble Head.

BOTTLENOSE DOLPHIN Tursiops truncates

A rare species at Strumble Head, 2 on 3rd August & 2 on 5th September being the first records since 2012.

RISSO’S DOLPHIN Grampus griseus

A total of 44 animals recorded, down on the previous year. Maximum day count was 20 on 19th September.

MINKE WHALE Balaenoptera acutorostrata

A single animal seen in a flat calm sea  heading in an easterly direction at thirteen minutes  past six on the evening of 23rd June.


A total of 10 animals seen between the dates of 23rd August & 22nd September, Maximum 2 on 30th August & the last date.