Saturday, 11 May 2013

Skua Passage

The 11th May dawned wet and calm in contrast to the forecast that had predicted north-westerly winds around force 5 - 6. In the light of this I got back in bed and took a rather relaxed approach to the day. Eventually I got on the road just after 9 am and headed out to Aird an Runair not expecting a great deal in the light winds. How wrong I was! As I arrived 2 Long-tailed Skuas scooted past the headland and before I could get out there 43 Pomarine Skuas in 2 flocks (20 and 23) past by. I could hardly believe that there was such a movement in such calm conditions but with the hope of securing some photos I positioned myself on the rocks at the south-west end of the headland.

Arctic Skua

Pomarine Skuas


Pom flock

Poms close in

Between 09:30 - 13:00 I managed to count 27 Long-tailed Skuas, 488 Pomarine Skuas (with a the largest flock being around 40), 25 Arctic Skuas, 21 Bonxies, 140 Whimbrel (in 4 flocks) and a drake Common Scoter heading north in the company of a drake Tufted Duck. All this in relativley light winds and comfort - if only all sea-watching could be so good! For more infomation on todays sightings in the Outer Hebrides please visit the website: Western Isles Wildlife

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