Saturday, 3 December 2011

3rd December

Scarce Umber

Strong West and WSW winds overnight that had already dropped by first light. Three fronts went through overnight raising temperatures to 11 degrees. A trip to Sand Point to intercept any birds blown up the channel making their way back down started off quite bleak. From 8:15 to 9:15 no sea birds just 5 Shelduck, 5 Curlew and 2 Black-headed Gulls. Then a single flock of 96 Kittiwake flew down channel about mid-channel. They then started spiralling upwards to a height of around 100M and headed off north-west towards the Welsh coast. A single Guillemot came out with the Kittiwakes but continued following the coastline heading south after passing the point. 2 more Kittwakes casually made their way down river some time later one of which was half heartedly pursued by a Merlin. The Merlin continued towards the Welsh coast. It would now seem that Merlins are quite happy flying back and forth across the estuary to hunt on both sides. Totals for the morning: 30 Black-headed Gull, 6 Shelduck, 6 Curlew, 98 Kittiwake and a Guillemot.
2 Moths in the garden trap last night one of which was my first garden record of Scarce Umber.

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