Thursday, 13 September 2012

Back to Reality

In response to reports of excellent seabird watching at Strumble Head I set off there today full of hope.  Getting into position it was obvious from other observers there that the excitement of previous days was not being repeated.  Things worsened as I missed the call for a great Skua before it disappeared behind the headland.  It was not that bleak hundreds of Guillemots were passing with smaller numbers of Fulmars, Gannets, Kittiwakes, Manx Shearwaters and Common Scoter.  Then as the morning progressed it went very quiet.

Grey Seal pup

I went back to the car and my wife pointed out that some Grey Seals were on the beach and there was at least one newborn pup.  I set off down the lighthouse steps and sure enough there was the pup with mother lurking just offshore.  Another female was up on the beach on the east side waiting to give birth and a third was struggling in vain to make the beach at all.  Hopefully she will have made it as the tide continued to rise.  Getting back to the car i was just in time to see a dark phase Arctic Skua fly by.

Female Grey Seal struggling to get on to the beach
 After a picnic lunch we stopped at Fishguard Harbour for a welcome ice cream and I walked along the beach towards the flagpoles.  A few waders were present which included c50 Oystercatchers, 2 Curlew, 3 Whimbrel, Bar-tailed Godwit, 7 Turnstone, 2 Redshank, 2 Dunlin and 5 Ringed Plover.  Two Wigeon were also feeding amongst the rocks.

Dunlin at Fishguard
It was then off home seeing to beautiful Red Kites en route and beginning to appreciate the wealth of wildlife in Wales again.

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