Monday, 23 December 2013

The 22nd was a very bright and breezy day, with a chilly westerly wind encouraging a large movement of auks out to sea. Throughout the morning, flocks of Guillemots, sometimes numbering over 100, flew south in long lines at regular intervals. A brief seawatching session at the North End revealed that 2640 flew south in one hour. Considering that this movement continued all morning, unabated, it is fairly reasonable to assume that over 8000 Guillemots flew past today. The previous passage record was last January, when 2600 were counted on January 1st and 2nd. In other news, a Gannet, two Common Gulls, 73 Kittiwakes and 60 Razorbills also flew past.

The 23rd was an incredibly windy day: 45 mph winds from the south-east coupled with lashing rain made for conditions that even our hardy waders could not put up with. The usual flocks of small waders were sheltering behind earth banks on the top of the Narrows. Numbers at high tide included 46 Oystercatchers, two Ringed Plovers, 14 Purple Sandpipers, 23 Curlews, 18 Redshanks and 24 Turnstones.

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