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Sunday, 29 November 2009

An unprecedented early winter 'wash' of LEACH'S PETRELS

The South Coast was today battered by strong SSW winds and following a week of very unsettled weather, masses of LEACH'S PETRELS were displaced and 'wrecked'. A conservative estimate of at least 600 birds was involved in the displacement, from west Dorset east to Sussex, with the majority off Portland Bill, Abbotsbury Swannery and in Chesil Bay, but with unprecedented numbers in Hampshire, with up to 30 in the Solent and off Milford-on-Sea. Steve Copsey obtained these really dramatic and very evocative images today, many of the birds flighting just along the shoreline. A great proportion of birds are moulting adults, which is of major concern, as many are exhausted and being killed by gulls (Lee Evans)