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Wednesday, 13 August 2008

DEEP ATLANTIC LOW PROVIDES SEAWATCHING OPPORTUNITIES

Westerly winds up to Force 8 battered the Southwest and South Coast today, providing excellent seawatching at exposed promontories.

Some 40 or so observers gathered at Pendeen Watchpoint (Cornwall), where a total of 11 GREAT SHEARWATERS, 16 CORY'S SHEARWATERS, 27 Balearic Shearwaters, 30 Sooty Shearwaters, 29 Arctic Skuas and 51 Storm Petrels were recorded, whilst off Gwennap Head, Porthgwarra, 9 GREATS, 2 CORY'S, 7 Balearics and 3 Sooty Shearwaters passed, as well as an adult Pomarine Skua. A further 12 CORY'S SHEARWATERS flew past Lizard Point (Cornwall) this evening, with 4 CORY'S and 9 Balearics past Prawle Point (South Devon) and a single CORY'S past Portland Bill (Dorset) at 0940.

At the opposite end of the country, a WILSON'S PHALAROPE spent all day 3 miles NW of Haydon Bridge in the SE corner of Grindon Lough (Northumberland), often associating with a single Common Greenshank. Wall birder Ray Craig had first seen the bird in appalling weather last night but because it was distant and mostly asleep, awaited confirmation this morning.

On Fair Isle, a THRUSH NIGHTINGALE was found.

In County Durham, the juvenile BLACK STORK remained west of Ryton and north of Crawcrook just south of Clara Vale. From Clara Vale, follow the footpath to the recreation ground and then track 98 to view the field with hay bales.

The CATTLE EGRET in North Norfolk remained for a second day, moving from Cley NWT early morning to the north end of Blakeney Freshmarsh, where it joined a herd of cattle.

The WHITE-WINGED BLACK TERN was again just east of Inverness Airport (Highland), whilst on Tiree (Argyll), the GREATER SHORT-TOED LARK was still north of the airport by the track at 'The Reef'. The partial breeding-plumaged adult AMERICAN GOLDEN PLOVER was again at Elmley Marshes RSPB (North Kent) over high tide this evening.

Seawatching over in County Clare (IRELAND) saw a presumed FEA'S SOFT-PLUMAGED PETREL (the first of the season off Bridges), 7 SABINE'S GULLS and 2 Pomarine Skuas south past Bridges of Ross.