|The mighty Bridges of Ross|
I've now seen 5 presumed Feas at the Bridges of Ross, as well as finding one further north off Annagh Head, County Mayo. However, that elusive Little Shearwater - or Macaronesian Shearwater - still eludes me and probably still will on my return. I've been on site when one flew past (there are a couple of choices of where to sit, and I was with the majority who were in the wrong place), been at breakfast when another was reported past and missed the odd one or two by a couple of days. But if you're looking for good views of a steady stream of migrating seabirds, that can increase dramatically in numbers with strong northwesterlies, then the Bridges of Ross is bang on the money. Sit at Porthgwarra and you'll get distant views of stuff, at Pendeen views may be slightly better but more weather dependent. At the Bridges, when it's good it's mint. I'm talking 40+ Sabine's, Long-tailed Skuas cutting the corner and scooting over your head, Wilson's Storm-petrels in the cove below you. That sort of shit you don't get in Cornwall. Never.
The weather looks ok for this year, well tomorrow at least. And then current Magic Seaweed predications show a nice high settling in the eastern Atlantic so it'll predictably go quiet. And when it goes quiet, there are always a few spots to check for waders etc. Last year, with Josh Jones and Marc Read, we were lucky to see a single presumed Feas Petrel before heading down to Kerry for a grotty American Herring Gull and then up to Mayo to see the Snowy Owl, Black Duck and we managed to find an unseasonal Ring-necked Duck on Achill Island too. Along the Clare coast, over the years, pleasant distractions have included regular Ring-billed, Glaucous and Iceland Gulls as well as Long-billed Dowitcher, Spotted Sandpiper and finding White-rumped Sandpiper. So all in all, it's always a decent and relaxing trip with good company.
|Snowy Owl and pellet, County Mayo August 2010|
|American Herring Gull, Blennerville, Kerry August 2010|
|Glaucous Gull, Kilrush, Clare August 2010|
|Ring-necked Duck looking grubby on Achill Island, Mayo August 2010|
|Ring-billed Gull Spanish Point, Clare August 2009|
|Iceland Gull Liscannor, Clare August 2008|
|Mediterranean Gull Limerick August 2008|