|dark morph Arctic Skua|
Friday, 5 April 2019
I arrived at George V Avenue for sunrise and was soon joined by Gareth. The following four hours made for some of my best Goring seawatching. Skuas started before long, finishing on six Bonxies and eight Arctic Skuas east, with three Bonxies west, two of which were perhaps earlier birds backtracking. All of the Arctic Skuas so far this spring have been dark morphs. Common Scoters went through at a steady pace, my personal total finishing on 630 east. A trio of Velvet Scoters - seen at various other points along the coast today - flew east, along with 12 Teal and six Red-breasted Mergansers. To my particular delight, having basically resigned myself to having to see this species in the early winter now, was a Red-necked Grebe which tracked east at 7.30am. A 2CY Little Gull was another nice year tick and a forerunner to a strong push of Sandwich Terns and Commic Terns, which finished on 337 and 122 respectively. 39 of the Commics came within reasonable range to assign them as our first Common Terns of the year. Wader passage involved a Bar-tailed Godwit, two Whimbrel, two Grey Plovers and two Curlew. A Shelduck, 11 Dark-bellied Brent Geese, 215 Gannets, 20 Red-throated Divers, 14 Fulmars, five Kittiwakes and six Great Crested Grebes were also logged. Two Linnets and a Meadow Pipit flew over.