Seawatching Joys

Flamborough in mid-July

It’s just a personal thing. I have very much been enjoying some recent mornings sitting and watching the passing seabirds off Flamborough. No big rarities, nor great spectacles. Just the joy of sitting (able to sit much longer as my health improves), often with my friend Brett Richards and watching. I enjoy the close and the far away. All kinds of learning and testing opportunities, and the beauty of staring out at wild seas and a big wide open space.

Outer head with east end of Flamborough head to the left end of the picture. Thanks for photo to Mick Sherwin

Outer head with east end of Flamborough head to the left end of the picture. Thanks for photo to Mick Sherwin

Here some shots of birds all taken from the seawatch spot over a couple of days. We did see a Pomarine Skua and some beautiful Arctic Terns, unfortunately a little too far to get a worthwhile photo. This is just the autumn warm-up act.

The Seawatch Spot:

Here's where we sit- the little arc below the front end of the Fog Station- part way down the cliff- can you see it? Hopefully some joy-filled moments yet to be had here in the coming days. Photo: Mick Sherwin

Here’s where we sit- the little arc below the front end of the Fog Station- part way down the cliff- can you see it? Hopefully some joy-filled moments yet to be had here in the coming days. Photo: Mick Sherwin

The captions explain a little more:

Inspired on the first seawatch of last week when this ad male Velvet Scoter landed in front of us. Photo by Brett Richards

Inspired on the first seawatch of last week when this ad male Velvet Scoter landed in front of us. Photo by Brett Richards

 

a  mix of seabirds to test skills

a mix of seabirds to test skills

Manx Shearwaters - sometimes up to several hundred can pass in a morning

Manx Shearwaters – sometimes up to several hundred can pass in a morning

 

good chance to improve skills on Guillemot and Razorbill flight ID. Can you ID the 3 on the right?

good chance to improve skills on Guillemot and Razorbill flight ID. Can you ID the 3 on the right?

some come nice and close

some come nice and close

and Puffins breed on the cliffs below

and Puffins breed on the cliffs below

Fulmars pass close with 2 Blue Fulmar in the last week

Fulmars pass close with 2 Blue Fulmar in the last week

Scoters are the commonest wildfowl right now, with occasional Eider like these 3 drakes

Scoters are the commonest wildfowl right now, with occasional Eider like these 3 drakes

gull variety can be excellent- 2nd summer?? Common Gull

gull variety can be excellent- 2nd summer?? Common Gull

and practice on in flight Cormorant ID. This one's a carbo- Atlantic Cormorant

and practice on in flight Cormorant ID. This one’s a carbo- Atlantic Cormorant

These are sinensis- Continental Cormorants- much championed locally by Brett R.

These are sinensis- Continental Cormorants- much championed locally by Brett R.

Plus the passing Shags

Plus the passing Shags

Skuas are just starting to appear- we had a fine 3cy Pomarine Skua. I think this plain winged Bonxie (Great Skua) might be a 1cy (first summer)

Skuas are just starting to appear- we had a fine 3cy Pomarine Skua. I think this plain winged Bonxie (Great Skua) might be a 1cy (first summer)

Waders are also increasingly present and passing like these Oystercatcher

Waders are also increasingly present and passing like these Oystercatcher

 

so a gull to end- what age and species is this one? :)

so a gull to end- what age and species is this one? 🙂

 

5 thoughts on “Seawatching Joys

  1. Amir Ben Dov

    This gull does not look as YLG
    The age is defenetly chalanging but i would suggest a 2nd Y very delayed individual.
    This bird is in its complete moult replaced P1-3/4, P5-6 are not seen i.e P5 has just started groing and P6 will start soon
    If so it means that this bird had minimum of 5-8 weeks of moult I.e starded way back in May-June,
    Even the soutern WP birds of YLG will hatch in early May and leave colony in late June (Israel)

    Regarding Sp. I think we have few hints in the P coverts 1-3 showing darkish colors, for me this will implay to be one of the darker Large gulls i.e; Baltic, LBBG, Heuglini (you may wish) group, i cant denay GBBG becouse the photo is not showing head and bill properly (though it doesnt look so)

    Becouse its so delayed moult i would suggest a very north east bird rather than aclose range one

    It is defenetly a strane retarted bird with very delayed moult
    But its gulls, i may be wrong :-/

    Amir Ben Dov, Israel
    litteraly writting from the shelter 😉

    Reply
  2. Martin Garner Post author

    Thanks for the comments and having a go- I like that Amir, yours were from the shelter. It’s a 2cy Great Black-backed Gull 🙂

    Reply
  3. Pingback: Eider duck and house martins, Terschelling | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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