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ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia

North Sea Thread (1 Viewer)

Gander

Well-known member
It has been a frustrating morning, with two wader types seen, but not seen well enough to be definitely IDed. The first was almost certainly a Curlew. The second might have been a Turnstone. Hopefully, they will reappear somewhere on the platform, and I'll get a second shot at them.

With heavy rain, and periods of fog since yesterday, it has been no surprise that we are seeing plenty of birds this morning. Good numbers of Redwing and Brambling again, but also a year first when two Chaffinch landed on a handrail within arms reach of where I was standing.
Down on the Cellar Deck, a pile of feathers with a few stripped bones told of the presence of a raptor, then a little later I spotted yet another Sparrowhawk as it harassed the Redwing flock that were circling the platform.

Only note from yesterday, after the report on Brambling, was a Cormorant turning up on the Spider Deck.

41. Chaffinch
 

Gander

Well-known member
A dryer, but quieter day today. A few Starling about, but the Redwing movement seems to have passed. Continued to see Chaffinch yesterday, but only one straggler this morning. I'm noticing how much stronger the colouration is on these continental Chaffinch compared to the British residents.

Another owl seen last night by several workers. One reported a Tawny, but highly unlikely, with descriptions from others indicating a default S-E Owl being more likely.

Possible Peregrine reported to me this morning, but description of bird favoured Sprawk. That said, I got a glimpse of a raptor being mobbed by gulls at distance yesterday, that did not strike me as being particularly Sprawk like.

Still no Fieldfare this season. Very unusual as they are usually intermingled with the waves of Redwing.
 

Gander

Well-known member
That is another trip over.

On Sunday, it turned out that we did have a Peregrine, as it was seen by a reliable spotter. Redwings and Starling continued to drift through in small groups, and we had another wave of Brambling on Monday morning.

Looking forward, by the time I get back out, we will be into white winged gull season. Outside of them, possibly I might get some more sea duck. Maybe some Scoters.

I have had a good autumn, but it would have had to have been brilliant to make up for the disastrous spring. I'm due a good spring, so here is looking forward to next year.
 

Gander

Well-known member
And I'm back!

Since Tuesday, I only had small numbers of GBBG and Herring Gull, along with a single Kittiwake. That was until yesterday morning when I was alerted to the presence of two ducks just off the north side. Said ducks turned out to be Eider.
 

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Gander

Well-known member
Before storm Arwen hit, I received several reports, mainly from the nightshift, of a "small owl" being on the platform. I couldn't locate it myself, so I am going to assume that it was a S-E Owl. The day before the storm, sightings dried up, so hopefully it sensed something big and bad was coming our way, and got out of Dodge.

Arwen produced winds of over 100 mph for us, with huge waves pounding the platform, but at least it was short lived. The gulls moved off during the storm, but have reappeared with reinforcements. Gull count is now about 150 - 200 mixed Herring and GBBGs. Also a single Gannet seen yesterday.
 

Gander

Well-known member
I'd love to think it was something more special than a S-E Owl, but it is probably less painful for me to assume the default owl species.

As for descriptions from the non birding community onboard, some of them are just crazy. In the case of this particular owl, the same person who called it "small" also qualified that by calling it Barn Owl sized. Taking descriptions from others to ID birds, can be pretty frustrating. I have a few trusted spotters, but outside of that, descriptions are taken with a pinch of salt.

Still, I live in hope. Hawk Owl is not impossible!
 

Farnboro John

Well-known member
I'd love to think it was something more special than a S-E Owl, but it is probably less painful for me to assume the default owl species.

As for descriptions from the non birding community onboard, some of them are just crazy. In the case of this particular owl, the same person who called it "small" also qualified that by calling it Barn Owl sized. Taking descriptions from others to ID birds, can be pretty frustrating. I have a few trusted spotters, but outside of that, descriptions are taken with a pinch of salt.

Still, I live in hope. Hawk Owl is not impossible!
I think the previous poster was thinking Tengmalm's?

John
 

Gander

Well-known member
Just a final note on the owl sightings. Another member of the crew, last night, belatedly reported seeing the owl last week. Description was much better, especially in regards to size and colouration. I still would not list the bird as such, but S-E Owl looks almost certain.
 

Gander

Well-known member
A couple of Fulmar yesterday, were my first of the trip. The resident gull flock remains. A single Kittiwake on the wing. And today, another female Eider, or maybe it was one of last week's birds returning.

Slow going again to be honest; with no White-Winged Gulls making a showing yet.
 
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Columbia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Colombia
ZEISS. Discover the fascinating world of birds, and win a birding trip to Colombia

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