Friday 24 September 2010

Arctic Explorer

Cracking snowball - Arctic Redpoll (Mark Breaks)

No mistake - a stunner (Mark Breaks)

One in the wall - Arctic Redpoll on Brownsman (Mark Breaks)

juv Sabine's Gull off Inner Farne (David Andrews)

Distant but great to see - Sabine's Gull (David Andrews)

Friday 24th September comments: It’s been an epic 24hrs as the weather turned and the islands were blasted from the cool north. Yesterday proved a day of contrast as flat seas and warm sunny conditions gave way to a northerly breeze and a heavy sea. The conditions deteriorated overnight and by dawn this morning, the sea was boiling. The strong winds from the north were producing an epic sea and it’ll be some time before it calms and business returns to normal.

Despite the conditions, birds were still on the move, as migrants and seabirds were logged during the day with some noticeable highlights. The most stunning involved an Arctic Redpoll (a ‘snowball’) of the hornemanni race – the islands third Arctic following an individual in October 1989 and up to four in December 1995. Other highlights included two Sabine’s Gulls (including one which lingered in the kettle off Inner Farne from 16:00 until dusk) always a nice delight to brighten up any day.

Today Major highlights:
Arctic Redpoll (third record for islands)
Balearic Shearwater 3N
Sabine’s Gull 2 (adult south with juvenile lingering)
Common Rosefinch for second day (3rd this autumn)

Other birds today:
Sooty Shearwater 322N, Manx Shearwater 25N, Velvet Scoter 2N, Tufted Duck 1S, Arctic Skua 10N, Bonxie 21N, Skylark 3, Whinchat, Redstart 2, Fiedlfare, Whitethroat, Blackcap, Siskin, Brambling and Snow Bunting.

Recent highlights:
Cory’s Shearwater 1N on 23rd September
Long-tailed Skua juvenile north on 23rd September
Corncrake on 22nd September flushed from nettle patch on Brownsman


kezia said...

What stunning pictures well done everyone , you amaze me how you identify birds , to me thats a gull I would never know which one , incredible.

Ash said...

Me? Jealous?
Very, very nice, like the atmospheric sabs shots as well.