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Thursday, 20 August 2009

Seawatching off BRIDGES OF ROSS - August 2009

Ronan Maclaughlin obtained the outstanding images above during a pelagic out of County Kerry, including GREAT SHEARWATERS (top two), POMARINE SKUA, SABINE'S GULL, SOOTY SHEARWATER and EUROPEAN STORM PETREL
A NORTH ATLANTIC LITTLE SHEARWATER flew west at Bridges of Ross this morning, remaining on view for about three and a half minutes as it crossed the bay at 250 yards range with a pack of Manx Shearwaters. Chris Heard relayed to me an excellent description of the bird, commenting on a number of salient features he and others latched on to. Chris was with five Irish birders at the time, including John Murphy, Paul Troake and Stan Nugent. There was also an excellent cross-section of other scarce seabirds seen today.

It seems that WILSON'S STORM PETRELS are the 'en vogue' seabird this year with what appears to be a number of individuals summering and perhaps following the circuituous feeding route that other rare seabirds have at the Bridges in recent years. They have been seen almost daily, peaking at an overwhelming and unprecedented 27 birds on 1 August.

The Story So Far - Bridges of Ross: 1-20 August 2009
Source of information:
Additional information Chris Heard

MANX SHEARWATER: 5,000+ on 1 August, 4,000+ on 10th

BALEARIC SHEARWATER: 1 on 1 August, 10 on 8th, 1 on 10th, 7 on 15th, 4 on 17th, 3 on 18th, 1 on 19th, 5 on 20th

SOOTY SHEARWATER: 2 on 1 August, 12 on 8th, 13 on 10th, 46 on 15th, 88 on 17th, 20 on 18th, 29 on 19th, 55 on 20th

CORY'S SHEARWATER: 1 on 15th August, 1 on 20th

GREAT SHEARWATER: 5 on 15th August, 2 on 17th

EUROPEAN STORM PETREL: 300 on 1 August, just 20 on 8th, 21 on 10th, 46 on 15th, 125 on 19th, 40 on 20th

WILSON'S STORM PETREL: unprecedented numbers offshore, many affording stunning views, with 27 on 1 August (Dermot Breen, Dara Fitzpatrick, John Murphy, et al), 1 on 8 August (Aidan Duggan, John Murphy, Finbarr McGabhain & Darrach Turley), 2 on 17th (Tom Lowe, Michael Hoit), 2 on 18th (Chris Heard, Tom Lowe, et al), 6 on 19th (Tom Lowe et al), 3 on 20th (Chris Heard et al)

LEACH'S STORM PETREL: the first of the autumn flew west on 20th August

POMARINE SKUA: 2 on 8 August, 2 on 15th, 2 on 17th, 2 adults on 18th, an adult on 19th, 6 on 20th

LONG-TAILED SKUA: 2 adults on 17th August (Tom Lowe, Michael Hoit), a staggering 8 (7 adults & a sub-adult) on 20th

SABINE'S GULL: 7 adults on 1 August, 2 adults on 8th, 12 adults on 15th, 3 adults on 17th, 6 adults on 19th, 15 adults on 20th