Thursday, 30 May 2013

Hit the North - final installment

We had a fantastic boat ride off South Uist, via Barra, to Oban. We saw:

Great Northern Diver- several
Red-throated Diver - 2
Pomarine Skua - 1 pale phase adult
Bonxie - 3
Storm Petrel - 2
Arctic Tern - lots
Manx Shearwater - lots
Black Guillemot - lots inc 17 in Oban Harbour
Swallow - c10 around the boat whilst fogbound

Short-beaked Common Dolphin - 2 pods of c50 and c15
White-beaked Dolphin - c10
Bottle-nosed Dolphin - 3
Harbour Porpoise - 1-2

Emperor Moth- 1 landed on the boat near Barra.

Back on the mainland, the sun was shining and it was c26C by the time we got to Glasgow - wow. On we went to Hartlepool where we successfully twitched a showy Thrush Nightingale on the putting green. Quite a subtle bird, ignoring the streaky flanks and spotty throat, it was quite dull dark brown lacking the mellow rufous of Common Nightingale. The tail was was dull rufous and in the dull evening light didn't really contrast with the back. I failed to count the primary tips although I did try! The yellow gape line was distinctive and the bird lacked Nightingale's eyering.

Post Script.
So, the northwesterlies picked up and an impressive movement of skuas happened the following day. Then the male Snowy Owl turned up again right where we had been. And then worse, the Harlequin was refound. Bugger. Nevermind, I wouldn't have traded it for our view of the first Long-tail and those close Poms plus finding that Lark...well, maybe!

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