Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Seawatching Strumble Head, Pembrokeshire

Balearic shearwater 3
Sooty shearwater 1
Long-tailed skua 2 (ad & juv.)
Great skua 4
Arctic skua 5 (1 pale, 4 dark)
Manx shearwater 100
Common scoter 20
Chough 2 (on the headland)
Red kite 1 (over the fields just before the headland)

Cetaceans: Common dolphin 2, harbour porpoise 1

UK Life: 412 (Balearic shearwater); Year: 250 (Balearic shearwater, long-tailed skua, sooty shearwater, great skua, Arctic skua)

This was my first ever visit to this really impressive seawatching spot. The first two Balearics today were a bit distant, but the third was quite close and showed well. Both long-tailed skuas were good views, but the juvenile was particularly good, flying in the sunlight at close range, it's pale rump stood out even through binoculars. Thanks to the other birders present for helping me get onto the Balearics. Seawatching is an art form all of it's own!

The seawatching shelter.

Seawatching in luxury!

Bonxie and gannet. This is not meant to be a great photo of the birds (it clearly isn't!) it's meant to convey the seawatching experience which is often long distance, poor views. What it doesn't get across well is the cold, the wind and the wet, to say nothing of the brevity of the views and often the boredom! You can see the dedication that some birders have to this form of birding on the Strumble Head Seawatching blog.

Gannets and common scoter.

I think this might well have been my first red kite in Pembrokeshire.


Emperor moth caterpiller.

Goldenrod is now in flower all over the headland, and it makes an impressive display in conjunction with the flowering ling.

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