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North Sea Thread (1 Viewer)

Gander

Well-known member
DOH! I really should have known that. At least I was right about the bill looking stout,even if I got the rest of the bird wrong.

Many thanks for the correction Andrew.

Razorbill is actually a rarity out here, so a good one for the year list.

33. Razorbill
 

Gander

Well-known member
Jh484

We now have approx 500 GBBGs in residence. They remain the only bird I can identify by smell.

This morning, I found one of the GBBGs was ringed. I've checked the ID out, and this bird was ringed as a chick at Orndalen, Tromso in the north of Norway. Some 200+ miles north of the Arctic circle in fact. That was on the 21/07/14. The bird was sighted again at Carsington Water, nr Derby on 14/03/19. Carsington is 2130 miles away from the ringing location. Now the bird is here; which is 1550 mile from the ringing location.

It's been a couple of years since I've had a ringed bird here, so quite pleased to have this one.
 

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delia todd

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Thanks for the history of this gull Paul.

It's fascinating learning where they've been, isn't it.
 

Gander

Well-known member
Still waiting on migrants, but apart from a "LBJ" reported to me this morning, there is still no movement. I should have mentioned earlier, but the week before I arrived, there were lots of small birds seen here, along with two "hawks". My timing has been awful in the last couple of years here!

Yesterday lunchtime, I witnessed something I've never seen here, or anywhere else, before. A Great Skua got hold of a Fulmar and proceeded to kill it over a matter of minutes. The Fulmar broke away at one point, but the Skua was on it in a flash, pulling it back down onto the surface of the water. I suspect death was by drowning.

I know Skuas are known to take Puffin and Kittiwake, but I'd have thought that a Fulmar was too big. Obviously I was wrong!
 

PYRTLE

Old Berkshire Boy
Still waiting on migrants, but apart from a "LBJ" reported to me this morning, there is still no movement. I should have mentioned earlier, but the week before I arrived, there were lots of small birds seen here, along with two "hawks". My timing has been awful in the last couple of years here!

Yesterday lunchtime, I witnessed something I've never seen here, or anywhere else, before. A Great Skua got hold of a Fulmar and proceeded to kill it over a matter of minutes. The Fulmar broke away at one point, but the Skua was on it in a flash, pulling it back down onto the surface of the water. I suspect death was by drowning.

I know Skuas are known to take Puffin and Kittiwake, but I'd have thought that a Fulmar was too big. Obviously I was wrong!

I've witnessed Bonxies killing and feeding on Gannets ( including an adult ) off the Norfolk coast, ..... they are brutes. The first time I observed this I thought the Gannet was a large fish or seal pup, the Skua just sat on top of it till it drowned and then proceeded to feed on the dead birds belly.

Gruesome but fascinating and wild.

Take care.
 

Gander

Well-known member
Fresh in

Following my abysmal performance identifying auks this week, my confidence is shot to pieces. However, I'm going to go Pied Flycatcher on the pictured bird, which I found on the Cellar Deck this afternoon.

34. Pied Flycatcher
 

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Gander

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The Pied Flycatcher was seen again this morning by someone else. Or maybe it was a second.

Gull numbers have decreased a little, however there are still over 300 GBBG on or in close proximity to the platform. A handful of Common Gulls are still about, and today, a couple of Herring Gulls have turned up. The odd Gannet still going past, but it seems to have been a poor year for them.

Also seen today are two auks (see photo). Obviously they are Razorbills. It's not like anyone could mix them up with Guillemots! |:$|
 

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Gander

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I found another ringed GBBG yesterday (see photo). This one did not have a darvic, but I got close enough to get a shot of the metal ring. This one also has Norwegian origins. It was ringed as a chick on 25/06/06, fourteen years and two months ago, in Sogn og Fjordane, western Norway.
 

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delia todd

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Another interest find Paul.

The North Sea seems to be such a dangerous place at times, but birds appear to manage pretty well, don't they.
 

Gander

Well-known member
Another interest find Paul.

The North Sea seems to be such a dangerous place at times, but birds appear to manage pretty well, don't they.

The GBBGs are pretty tough.

Lots of trawlers in the area at the moment, so there must be fish about. Judging by what I am seeing deposited around the platform, there are certainly Mackerel present.
 

Gander

Well-known member
Frenzy

Yesterday afternoon, a large flock of 100+ Gannets arrived at the platform, and started diving down underneath it. Both air and water were full of Gannets as they fed in a frenzy for about 20 minutes.

Four Great Skuas also seen to be accompanying the Gannets.
 

delia todd

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WOWSER!!!!

Crikey what an experience that must have been Paul.

Any room for a little old lady out there?;)
 

Gander

Well-known member
Jx224

Another ringed gull found yesterday.

This one is my most far flung ever. It was ringed as a 5 cyc+ bird on the 15/04/2012, in a place called Hasselneset, Vardo, Finnmark. That is the extreme NE of Norway, a stones throw from the Russian border, and just north of the Finnish border. Far above the Arctic Circle on the Barents Sea. Further east than Istanbul.

The bird was recorded four times as still being in the area, up until the 29/07/18, then it heads for Cotesbach landfill site in Leicestershire, 2575 km away from its original location. It was recorded there on 08/11/19.

Now it is with me some 1967 km from the ringing site.

P.S - It is a female.
 

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Gander

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I arrived back on Tuesday, and within minutes of exiting the Accommodation, I found a migrant. I'm fairly sure it was a Bunting, but it was gone before I had a chance to get the monocular on it.

Later in the afternoon I found a small flock of Chaffinch and a single Robin.

Yesterday, the wind was up, and no migrants were seen. Today, I've just seen a couple of Blackcaps (both with brown caps).

Seabird numbers have dropped from last trip, but GBBG, Herring Gull, Kittiwake, Fulmar and Gannet have been seen.

And of course, upon arrival, I got the, "You should should have been here yesterday" greeting. On Monday, the platform had a close encounter with a pod of at least 30 Pilot Whales, including calves.

The next few weeks are my best opportunity for something special this year, however, I should at least get a thrush rush if nothing else. I just need a good east wind to kick things off.
 

Gander

Well-known member
A lot of migrants seen to be going through yesterday evening and this morning. Of the ones I could identify, there are two new to this year's list, with a couple of Grey Heron and quite a few Brambling.

Apologies for the poor quality record shot.

34. Grey Heron
35. Brambling

Always good to get Brambling, as they are not an annual sure thing. That said, neither are the Herons.

I would suggest that the east coast migrant hotspots will be worth a visit over the next few days. :t:
 

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Gander

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First flock of Redwings in this morning. Dozens around the platform. Thrush rush is now underway. :t:

36. Redwing
 

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