Sunday, July 31, 2011


after the winter there was a long gap with no local sightings but a pair returned and seem to have reared two broods -- a brief morning visit by this individual

Shoveler wings

my local pits can be pretty mundane in mid summer!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Pomarine Skua

this 3cy Pomarine Skua was resting on the beach when I first saw it but it was beyond a flock of 1500 Herring Gulls! a careful approach was fruitless with the gulls flushing at 200m but later it came back over the beach twice chasing terns and Kittiwakes and while not the closest bird on the beach it was nice to get some images of this plumage in digital; in 1987 up to 16 birds could be found loafing and bathing on the beach off Rimac with a minimum of 26 different individuals being present in the ensuing 3 weeks -- I have a series of nice photos on KChrome slides but it is nice to be able to update to digital images -- hopefully with the apparent wealth of sand eels off shore the terns will continue to build up and bring in more skuas as the autumn progresses after all it is still July!

Sandwich Terns

Arctic Skuas

the pale bird is clearly a first-summer 2cy and the dark bird is presumably also of this age but the long central tail projections and the fairly obvious dark cap suggest 3cy but the barred underwings are clearly juvenile feathers and make it a 2cy --