Wednesday, 19 October 2011

Musselburgh Pom and Med Gull

Bookended the day with a seawatch off Musselburgh morning and evening. Good numbers of gulls around, particularly Kittiwakes moving west in the evening. Stephen W watching further along the coast at Ferny Ness scored with a Sabine's Gull just after I headed for home - don't quite know whether or when it would have passed Musselburgh but it was one of the species that I was looking out for today.

My main targets were skuas and although I was pretty certain that I saw three species today, only a couple of Pomarine Skuas in the morning and a single Arctic in the evening were clinched. It might well have been a good day to be watching from Hound Point. It is a few years ago now, but I've had all four species from there in the space of a few hours.

Best bird of the day however goes to a winter adult Mediterranean Gull seen feeding among a group of Black-headed and Common Gulls. While Mediterranean Gulls are no longer unusual at Musselburgh, this is the first I have seen here this year and also the first that I have picked up in the scope while seawatching - normally I have seen them loafing or at most coasting. Hopefully it will be a more frequent sight as numbers continue to build year on year it seems. Not the plumage of today's bird, here is a pic taken in the South of France this summer.

Unlike this bird photographed on a hot summer evening in the Med, today's birding was decidedly Arctic, both in temperature and supporting cast - Long-tailed Duck, Goldeneye, Slavonian Grebe as well as the Velvet Scoters, Goosander and Red-breasted Mergansers... Brrr...

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