13th May 2013 – Another good skua watch including more Long-tailed’s…

With conditions continuing to look good for skuas today the shelter at Bowness seemed like the best place to be – particularly as heavy showers were forecast. So by mid-morning a few of us had already gathered anticipating that maybe a few birds would be passing over low tide. It was great to meet Justin and Robbo after their long journey up from Doncaster – obviously they were hoping to see some Poms and maybe even a Long-tailed or two – but would the skuas play ball and come past? Well yes they did and credit where credit’s due the Doncaster Duo managed to get on most birds – including seven Long-tailed’s, before anyone else! They went home very happy chappies with all 4 skuas in the bag. The first two Long-tailed’s came through a full 4 hours before hi-tide – these two birds were fairly distant but showed quite nicely as they hung in the wind for a few seconds. A further five Long-tailed’s went through nearly 3 hours before hi-tide, although these went through very fast and high in the clouds and were incredibly difficult to follow and get onto. After these seven birds going through so early on, hopes were high that more would follow, so it was a little disappointing that no more were seen by those gathered at the shelter during the rest of the session. It was also frustrating when a huge storm came through just after the tide had turned, visibility and conditions were horrendous for nearly an hour and a half, with hailstones even getting inside the shelter.

So our totals for the day were 7 Long-tailed Skuas, 51 Poms, 18 Arctics and 5 Bonxies. Interestingly a few of the skuas today appeared to be immatures, some record shots from the day…

Photo courtesy of Justin Carr

Photo courtesy of Justin Carr

Photo courtesy of Justin Carr

Photo courtesy of Justin Carr

IMG_5385-copy

IMG_5392-copy

2nd summer Pom?...

Pom – 2nd summer

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Immature bird bottom right...

Immature bird bottom right…

Immature bird bottom left...

Immature bird bottom left…

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