Snow Petrel - Antarctic Ocean 2016

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Thursday, 28 February 2013

Shetland Trip 25-27th Feb

With negative Grosbeak news on the 23rd onwards, and having already booked the flights to Aberdeen, it was worth a go just incase. On the 25th, I picked up Jake and we met John Cooper in Burgess Hill. We arrived at Gatwick pretty early (thanks David for the lift) and a couple of hours later we landed in Aberdeen. With 10 hours to waste, we hired a car and drove north visiting several sites.

First site was Rattray Head where the Desert Wheatears showed well, and offshore were Eider, Long-tailed Ducks and a Red-throated Diver. At a nearby loch were Whooper Swans and Goldeneye.

St. Combs was nice but all the Eider were a long way out, and with no scope between us, spotting the King Eider was tricky, so we didn't hang around. Strathbeg and Ythan were also visited with just the usual species being seen.



Desert Wheatear

We arrived in Aberdeen Harbour, had dinner and caught the overnight North Link ferry to Lerwick. A pretty uneventful crossing, and we all slept well on the floor with hard cushions to lay on.

26th - We picked up our hire car and headed straight for Collafirth. We met Hugh Harrop and Mark Golley there as well and we set about searching the pine plantations but it was soon evident that the Pine Grosbeak was not present. We stayed til midday, but gave up and headed for Scalloway where the Ring-billed Gull showed well, and at Lerwick Harbour were 2 Glaucous Gull, Black Guillemots, Long-tailed Ducks etc. After some Fish and Chips, we caught the ferry back to Aberdeen where the next morning we caught an early flight back to Gatwick. Dip over!!

 
 Ring-billed Gull
 


Glaucous Gull and Long-tailed Ducks

Monday, 18 February 2013

Splash Point, Ashdown & Southease 18/2/13

I got down Splash Point at first light and seawatched til 8.30. There was a steady movement of birds passing but when passage slowed, I headed up to Ashdown with Dick where we stayed for about 5 hours. Weir Wood was visited but held nothing of note. Southease was our last stop.

Splash Point: all birds going east were
Little Gull - 2
Auk sp. - 426
Razorbill - 19
Common Scoter - 4
Pintail - 4
Shelduck - 4
Brent Geese - 15
Red-throated Diver - 23 + 2 sp.
Curlew - 44
Gannet - 20

Ashdown Forest:
Woodlark - 5
Buzzard - 10
Barn Owl - 1 - nr Weir Wood

Southease:
'Dark-breasted' Barn Owl - 1
Barn Owl - 2

Woodlark
 

'Dark-breasted' Barn Owl

Sunday, 10 February 2013

Splash Point 10/2/13

Given it was moderate southerly this morning, myself and Bob didn't see a single Brent Goose. I was predicting a large movement this morning, shows how much I know. However Auks were steadily moving by. All birds flying east. Totals from 6.50-8.50am are:

Black-throated Diver - 2
Red-throated Diver - 2
Auk sp. - 134
Razorbill - 158
Guillemot - 1
Gannet - 30
Common Scoter - 8
Shag - 1 o/s

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Barn Owl at Work 7/2/13

Whilst working at Ringmer Pool this afternoon, a Barn Owl flew past the window several times livening up a dull Thursday shift. Another Barn Owl was seen driving home at Beddingham tip.

Barn Owl at The Burgh - not Ringmer!!
 
This morning I walked the Cuckmere again but still nothing worth a mention. 

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Cuckmere Haven 5/2/13

A walk on the patch was pretty unproductive this morning. The meanders were devoid of Wildfowl and despite my best efforts, I still couldn't flush a Jack Snipe, though 2 Snipe did fly up. The scrape was also quiet with just a Teal present. A Stonechat showed well near the scrape and that was about it.


Stonechat in the Cuckmere

Monday, 4 February 2013

West Sussex 4/2/13

A bit of a windy day out with Dad and Pete visitng a few West Sussex sites. It was slow going at West Dean Woods and Rackham but as the day went on we saw some pretty good stuff.

West Dean Woods
Red Kite - 1
Peregrine - 1
Coal Tit - 1

Lavington Common
Dartford Warbler - 2

The Burgh
Hen Harrier - 2
Barn Owl - 1
Red Kite - 1
Bewick's Swan - 20+ nr Burpham

 Dartford Warbler
 Bewick's Swans
 Hen Harrier
 Hare taking off
Barn Owl (left), my car (right)...bugger!!