Monday, 17 January 2011

Rain didn't stop play

I awoke today to pouring rain so couldn't be bothered to go out. However by ~ 11.00 I’d had enough of sitting in doors so I went down to the beach, parked up and did a sea watch from the safety of the car.
There were a lot of auks were on the sea and more moving south though a few seemed confused and flew north. Only a couple were close enough to id and these were razorbills. During the hour I so I was watching  about 300 moved through.  Diver numbers in contrast were low with only 3 being noted (assumed red throated), plus 1 great crested grebe and 2 gannets  wheeling around distantly.
On the gull front most were black heads and herrings but there were a good number of common gulls and the odd great  black backed but the real interest was provided by kittiwakes.
Kittiwake - 1st winter


Kittiwake - 1st winter
If every kittiwake I saw was new then over 100 went past though I can't rule out the possibility the birds were circling. Even in the crap light the 1st winter birds look great.
I only half a dozen or so fulmars but in truth I was concentrating on the auks and kittiwakes.
After an hour I’d had enough and decide to park up along Undercliffe and listen/look for the long tailed tits. Eventually I found  them (or should I say they found me?) and after ~ 15 minutes of searching through the loose flock I saw a northern LTT high up the cliff.
Fortunately it moved down the cliff (for those who don’t know Undercliff Road the “cliff” is covered with trees at this point) and landed in a bush just on the other side of the road. The light was not good to say the least but I managed a shot – yes just the one and this was at 1/30th and ISO 1250 – and to be honest I’m quite surprised how well it came out.
Northern Long-tailed Tit
Also while I was watching the long tailed tits I saw blue and great tits and a single  goldcrest – a year tick.

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