Sunday, 1 January 2012

1st January 2012 Birling Gap Seawatch 8am - 12.30pm SW4 Overcast

An excellent January sea-watch this morning. Putting it into the Sussex context a quick comparison to the Sussex Bird Report 2010 shows the largest published January movements for that year of Red-throated Divers was 76E on 10th (although we recorded 416W past Birling on 1/1/11 per JFC's summary ), of Gannets was 140W on the 15th, the largest January site total of westerly moving Shelducks was only 30, the largest movement of Razorbills was 49W on the 29th, only 3 Bonxies were noted in the County in January (although we recorded 3 off Birling last January per JFC's summary) and no Pomarine Skuas were seen before April.  A pity that the onset of heavy rain and poor visibility arrived at 12.30pm today.

Red-throated Diver 7E, 91W, c.9 on sea
Great Crested Grebe 5W, 3 on sea
Fulmar 2E, 9W
Gannet 36E, 422W
Cormorant 2E
Brent 4E, 8W
Shelduck 39W (5,4,1,1,5,6,7,1,9)
Wigeon 5E
Scoter c.12 on sea
Oystercatcher 3
Curlew 3E, 4W
Bonxie 1W at 11.42am ex.
Pomarine Skua 1E juv. at 12.03pm ex. intermediate morph
Black-headed Gull c. 20 off Birling
Common Gull c.400 in fields then onto sea off Birling
Herring Gull 60 on beach
Great Black-backed Gull c.15 offshore
Kittiwake 11E, 61W
Auk sp. 7E, 24W
Guillemot 1E, 2W
Razorbill 13E, 64W, c.8 on sea
Rock Pipit 2
Meadow Pipit 3
Pied Wagtail 1
Dunnock 1
Magpie 3
Jackdaw c.20
Carrion Crow 5
Starling c.15

Gannet off Birling Gap
Gannets predominated in today's westerly movement, and whilst the majority were adults, all age groups were represented including this immature.