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Skuas

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BrianR
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Skuas

Post by BrianR » 07 Apr 2016, 19:15

Up until yesterday the only skua that I had seen passing Aird an Rùnair was a Great Skua on 27th March. In an hour and a half watch yesterday morning there were three Pomarine together, a couple of dark morph Arctics and two single Greats (another flew N and came almost overhead later). Fairly early for Pomarine although I have three records (four birds) in March (17th in 2005, 28th in 2008 and 22nd in 2009).

BrianR
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Re: Skuas

Post by BrianR » 18 Apr 2016, 20:41

During a couple of seawatches recently at Aird an Rùnair a total of 35 Great Skuas have flown N along with a single Pomarine. A pair of Great Skuas apparently on territory were seen on Ronay by Tim Dix a few days ago.

Some other observations at Balranald Nature Reserve include the Great White Egret still in residence, a ♂ Green-winged Teal on Loch a' Roe (doubtless same bird as last year here and also the one that has been seen regularly on Loch Sandary/Loch nam Feithean during the winter), two different Glaucous Gulls (one in 2nd-summer plumage), and a few Greenland Wheatears. Only a few White Wagtails have appeared yet.

Elsewhere on North Uist my first Arctic Tern was on the 17th (four heading N the previous day were probably this species).

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Re: Skuas

Post by BrianR » 02 May 2016, 20:43

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Some of the pale-bellied Brent Geese passing Aird an Runair.
With WSW winds in the last couple of days skua passage now well underway at Aird an Rùnair. In three seawatches 76 Pomarine, 36 Arctics, three Long-tailed and 18 Great have passed N. The two Long-tailed of yesterday maybe equalled the earliest ever - 1st May 1989 - although if this year had not been a Leap Year that would have made it the 2nd. Also passing or on the headland have been over 300 pale-bellied Brent Geese (four seen to be colour-ringed but only two read), a pair of Common Scoter, an impressive flock of 90 Black-tailed Godwits and a faded 1st-winter Iceland Gull. Also another gull that may have been a Glaucous x Herring hybrid.
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Great Skua

BrianR
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Re: Skuas

Post by BrianR » 04 May 2016, 09:55

There was a good skua movement yesterday in watches of 6 hours (totals include a further couple of hours by other observers). Squally showers and a westerly wind F5-6. Totals were 365 Pomarine, 22 Arctic, 8 Long-tailed and 9 Great. A lot of the Brent Geese of the previous day were still around as also was the Glaucous x Herring Gull hybrid.
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Long-tailed Skua in the foreground!
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Arctic Skuas passing the headland.

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Re: Skuas

Post by BrianR » 06 May 2016, 22:30

From my last posting a few more skuas have passed but weather conditions for next week at least are not suitable for bringing in any good numbers. Totals to date stand at 451 Pomarine, 77 Arctics, 22 Long-tailed and 74 Great.
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Iceland Gull at Lochmaddy old pier this morning.

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Re: Skuas

Post by BrianR » 18 May 2016, 22:12

There has not been any suitable weather systems for any large movement to take place (in sight of land anyway). Totals up to 18th now stand at 453 Pomarine, 87 Arctic, 27 Long-tailed and 82 Great. Four Long-tailed came in and went over the dunes at Tràigh lar at 08.40 hours this morning and headed inland; then turned south again before circling high up. At one time disappeared from view in the cloud before reappearing and finally heading north at 09.00 hours.
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