Monday, October 5, 2009

Wrecked!

About 35-40 kittiwakes were feeding along the seafront at Båstad this morning. Drop outs after yesterday's big blow.

Today was always going to be challenging. Unlike yesterday I had the car, unlike yesterday I also had three kids and Ma B (the latter suffering from shingles). Conditions for sea-watching looked better than yesterday... In the end we made a decent go of it and I got another patch year-tick.

We headed to Båstad for a walk after breakfast, near the play-ground we found a large flock of unhappy looking kittiwake feeding just off the shoreline. I checked carefully through them for anything interesting and scanned the outer harbour. A gannet flew past close-by. As we played happily, the Cory's shearwater flew past an admiring gallery, just as I was pretending to be a dolphin probably. I am sure I am going to see this bird this autumn, but today was not the day (again). We walked on to check the inner harbour. But this time the nearby kittiwake flock included a superb, but very scruffy 1K Sabine's gull! Nice one.

1K birds outnumbered adults by 7 to 1.

Nothing beats a close-up view of a pelagic bird.

Very adolescent, the bird gave a pathetic begging call all the time.

The only flight view I managed. Nice though.

Unfortunately as we approached the harbour we met some birders, they gripped me rigid (Manx and Cory's shearwater) and I told them about the Sabine's gull. It seemed an unfair exchange of information somehow. From the pier I spotted four pomarine skuas, two fulmars and two sooty shearwaters. Things were obviously still very good. Moving the kids onto the beach, I hunkered down for ten minutes at Skansenbadet. I told the guys there about the Sabines's and most of them left to see it. Amazingly in the ten minute watch, I found a Leach's petrel, not a close one, but unmistakeable. So not a bad walk, just glad to have got out and been a part of it really. Leach's was my 7th patch year-tick in two days, bringing the BK year-list to 213. Last year I got 208, so I am chuffed to have raised the bar. It ain't over yet though and that Cory's is still out there...

The Sabine's twitch later in the day. I have found megas that got smaller total crowds than this.

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