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Sooty Shearwaters

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BrianR
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Sooty Shearwaters

Post by BrianR » 31 Oct 2015, 20:19

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I was rather hoping for a few Sooty Shearwaters off Aird an Runair today after hearing about an exceptionally large and unusually late passage a couple of days ago (240 passed Rubha Ardvule and 108 in an hour off Cleat). The wind however was too southerly for this location with most species going south a long way out. Just a single Sooty was added to the Balranald NR monthly list. There is invariably something of interest to be seen here on visits and today sightings included 10 Pink-footed Geese, a Common Scoter, a Peregrine and a family of Otters that have been around for some while.

BrianR
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Re: Sooty Shearwaters

Post by BrianR » 01 Nov 2015, 20:10

With still a lot of south in the wind although it was F5-6 I was not expecting much at Aird an Runair during a visit in the late morning. There did however appear to be a few shearwaters well out so I returned to the car for my 'scope. It was very difficult to establish how many Sooties were present as most were near limits of observation. Possibly as many as 40 were seen during an hour and a half with up to ten going in and out of view at regular intervals during the watch. Certainly there was no strong movement south and perhaps it may have been only one or two groups seen intermittently. We will get a better idea of numbers present today if there was a seawatch at Rubha Ardvule.

Certainly this late movement is unusual with the following in The Birds of Scotland: 'November records are almost annual......although 91 around North Rona on 2nd November 1993 was an unusually high count for the time of year.'

BrianR
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Re: Sooty Shearwaters

Post by BrianR » 04 Nov 2015, 20:50

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There were still some Sooties off Aird an Runair yesterday afternoon (14.25-15-25 hours) with at least three (and also what appeared to be a raft of at least 20 on the sea a long way out). Also in the hour just over 500 Kittiwakes flew south.

BrianR
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Re: Sooty Shearwaters

Post by BrianR » 08 Nov 2015, 15:02

Certainly a record November for Sooty Shearwaters with Tony clocking up another 92 from the Butt of Lewis lighthouse between 10.30 and 12.30 hours today. The birds passed to the SW in rain and a SE wind F6-8.

Also recorded in the two hours were 5 Fulmars, 480 Gannets, 6 Great Skuas, 920 unidentified auks (Guillemots or Razorbills) and 240 Kittiwakes (all adults).

BrianR
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Re: Sooty Shearwaters

Post by BrianR » 09 Nov 2015, 18:58

In view of the wind (WSW F7-8) and recent numbers of Sooty Shearwaters a seawatch at Griminish Point was called for today. Not the best viewing conditions (total cloud cover and rather poor light) with the lighthouse on Shillay just discernible. Sooties were passing south from the off and in 5 hours (until 14.10 hours) an exceptional number (for the time of year anyway) of 510 were logged.

Other species recorded included: 18 Fulmars, a single Manx Shearwater, 840 Gannets (at least 16 juveniles), 4 Great Northern Divers, a similar number of Great Skuas, 65 Kittiwakes (at least 15 juveniles) and 170 Guillemots/Razorbills.

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