Friday, September 9, 2011

Watching the sea

The weather forecast looks incredible for next week, I could be sea-watching for days on end I reckon. So Number 2 and I got some practice in today in a light westerly. We chose Yttre Kattvik in the morning, a site that allows Number 2 to set up a camp in the car whilst I attempt to watch birds, answer questions and help with 'tent' construction.

En route we had two marsh harriers at Hov and yet another merlin (an immature male) perched close by the road at Kattvik. Two-and-a-half hours of watching here produced some good birds with the highlights being fulmar (1), arctic skua (1) and little gull (2 2K). More raptors here too with three merlins and a marsh harrier in-off crossing the bay. Other notables included black-throated diver (3 west), Slavonian grebe (2 west), Arctic tern (1 west) and at least 14 guillemot west. Along the road a steady stream of siskin passed west, they are really starting to move in numbers now.

After lunch and with Number 1 on board we headed out again, this time in the bright sunshine and therefore to the markkedly more sheltered Kattvik harbour. It almost felt like summer for a while. Four beautiful black-throated divers were in residence just offshore and stuff was still moving on the sea. A 1K Arctic skua passed by very close and a total of five little gulls went past in singles during the two hour watch. Perhaps the best bird though was the 1K black redstart feeding quietly in amongst the huge boulders that make up the breakwater at this site.

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