Thursday 21 November 2013

Storming north

Stormy Farnes

Thursday 21st November comments: It’s been a bleak, cold day on the Farnes as the northerly winds have produced some mountainous seas. Combine this with heavy rain, you start getting a picture of the extreme conditions we’ve experienced on the islands.

Despite this, there have been reasonable movements of birds which have been displaced by the weather, especially wildfowl. Winter ducks have been noted including Long-tailed and Goldeneye whilst a dozen Little Auks were no surprise considering the wind direction. Arguably the best bird of the day was a Slavonian Grebe through Inner Sound, the first record of the year bringing the ‘year list’ (the number of species recorded this year) to 192.

On a more worrying note, the Grey Seal pups must have been struggling on the low shingle ridges although the extent of the damage will not become known to us until the wind eases and we get back out onto the nurseries.

Todays highlights: Red-throated Diver 27N 1S, Great Northern Diver 6N and one on sea, Slavonian Grebe one on sea, Red-necked Grebe 2N, Wigeon 84N, Shelduck 1N, Common Scoter 62N, Velvet Scoter 4N, Long-tailed Duck 23N, Goldeneye 33N, Red-breasted Merganser 3N, Grey Plover 3N, Bar-tailed Godwit 20N, Great Skua 4N, Arctic Skua 1S, Pomarine Skua 2N 1S, Little Auk 13N, Black Guillemot 1N, Woodcock 12, male Blackcap and two Snow Buntings.

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