Tuesday, 29 November 2011

A tasty morsel

The strong winds from the south continue so seawatching was again on the cards for today this time from Krokstrand. I was joined by Per Gylseth whose company allowed me to persevere longer than I would otherwise (but also probably longer than was necessary!).
At times there was enough movement of birds that it felt worthwhile and the hope of something rare was there but there were also long periods of nothing more than white capped waves, drizzle and mist.
Totals were 30 Little Auks many of which came very close to land, 2 of which actually few over our heads and 3 of which became a tasty meal for Great Black-backed Gulls. The auks didn't seem to realise the threat the gulls posed as I witnessed one land next to a gull (which was the only other bird to be seen at that time) and then promptly be pounced upon.
9 Kittiwakes flew south although saw only one flying north, 2 Fulmar flew north and one south and there was a scattering of Guillemots and Razorbills. 34 Common Scoter were offshore in a few small groups alongside 3 Velvet Scoters.
Perhaps the biggest surprise of the day was a flock of 30 Wood Pigeons I saw in a field close by the seawatching location - this is a late record especially for such a large flock.

Off the southern tip of Norway today 10,000 Little Auks were counted and the observers noted that 100 were eaten (the predators noted as being GB-b Gulls, Glaucous Gull,  Peregrine and Gannet). Our 30 with 3 falling victim to GB-b Gulls feels rather insignifcant in comparison!

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