16th April 2013 – More seawatching…

Despite the fact that it was sunny and still almost low tide, the strength of the winds alone made me think that I really should do a quick seawatch before I started work this afternoon. And I’m glad I did too. On the short drive to Bowness I passed a smart Wheatear being blown about on the grass by the marsh road – my first one on the Solway this year. Immediately after I pulled up at Bowness I could see plenty of gulls being blown in up the estuary, and as I opened the car door the wind nearly blew me up the estuary too – blimey that wind was strong today! A few groups of Kittiwakes went through, then I stumbled across a real surprise, and a Solway tick for me too – wait for it, wait for it – a Shag! Get in. Seriously, this ain’t a common bird up here, in fact the only other Shags I’ve ever seen in Cumbria were down in the south of the county at Walney some years ago. Then surprise number two – a Little Tern battling along the shoreline heading out! Again, not very often I’ve seen this species on the Solway either. Other notable birds in my short watch included an adult Little Gull, 4 Arctic Skuas and a rather surprising ‘raft’ (is that the right term?) of 11 Red-throated Divers. So quite a productive little watch.

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