With a passage of Velvet Scoters through Portland over the last few days (but nowhere else - not seen anything off here at all lately!) the increased southerly wind meant I was back at the seafront this morning. Well as soon as I could be anyway as we had a new washing machine delivered this morning, which amazingly arrived prior to 07:30 - impressive!
The sea watch was briefly interrupted when Ian Mc rang at about 08:45 with news of a first-winter Little Gull on Colyford Scrape. The last year I did a year list I missed out on this species, so I hot footed it straight to the Farm Gate at Axmouth where the Little Gull was viewable distantly on the scrape - exactly where I saw my last one last year...
|Distant phone-scoped pic|
Also saw my first two Swallows of the year here, which I picked up whilst scanning for the Little Gull that briefly went missing when I first arrived. There's got to be a slight chance the Little Gull is the same one that's been on Bowling Green Marsh (Exe Estuary) for a few weeks, as there's no sign of it there today. If it is hopefully that gorgeous Bonaparte's Gull will follow it east...
I was keen to get back to the sea as quickly as possible, although the first half hour of the sea watch was completely dead, the wind turned from south to south west, and after that a few more bits and pieces began passing. Full totals for 08:00 - 08:45, 09:00 - 09:45 were;
31 Common Scoter
1 Red-throated Diver
1 Diver sp.
11 Sandwich Tern
So although it wasn't a big haul, the regular small groups of passing Common Scoters were more than enough to keep me there. Sadly no white secondaries in with them though. It was nice to see my first Sandwich Terns of the year too, with a further four west at 13:45 this afternoon.
Yesterday Knot was added to my Patchwork Challenge year list, with one keeping the Grey Plover company on Black Hole Marsh in the morning. Good to get that one on the list nice and early in the year.