By mid- afternoon I was beginning to get the urge for more seawatching, my neshness was preventing me from braving the elements unnecessarily though. I decided to give the sea a quick looking over from the bedroom window first. Am I glad I did! I started watching at 3:00 PM and by 3:15 I'd seen a Sooty Shearwater, 2 Balearic Shearwaters, 4 Arctic Skuas, and a pale phase adult Pom!! I could hardly believe it, I'd got to get to the yacht club, what if I saw a possible Sabine's or Grey Phalarope? I'd never be able to stay with it for long enough to be sure! Although I have a view of the sea from the house it's restricted due to the small size of the window and also more annoyingly by the way the window opens. Like so:
When I got to the yacht club Ian M had just arrived, we saw lots more Balearic Shearwaters. I had to leave at 4: 30 and had seen a total of 19 by then. Ian stayed longer so there may have been more. The major highlight was another Sooty Shearwater, it was pretty close in ( for Seaton) and the superb light made it look awesome!!
The strong southwesterly blew all night and so I was out at the yacht club again quite early this morning, Ian was again already there. Gavin, who's in the Scilly Isles at the moment was noticably absent from his usual spot and today it was occupied by a small red container, thus:
After enjoying the Red-necked Grebe we all went our separate ways. Ian M went to Colyford Common to see if anything had been brought in by the stormy weather, I went home for a cuppa first! Fortunately I had just finished it when I got a text: "Grey Phalarope Colyford Common" Time for another twitch! When I got there along with Ian Waite, and later Phil and Bun the bird was still showing really nicely on the scrape, unfortunately it favoured the fashionable East Bank (the snob!) and remained far too distant to digiscope anywhere near verging on half-decent!
During a quick look at the river this afternoon I saw this Blackwit with colour rings, no need to send the details off though as it matches the rings fitted to the Axe Estuary Ringing Group's first Blackwit, caught and ringed on Friday evening (while I was in the Co-op twiddling jars around :-( ).
Just in case I haven't bored you enough yet, here's some more pictures from my new found passion for Micro-digiscoping:
This one (above) is a nymph stage of the crustacean Cyclops
Rotifer of genus Synchaeta
Oligochaete worms have bristles which are used to grip when creeping between water plants or when on the bottom of a pond. Like many pond organisms they are very transparent. Their internal organs are clearly visible. Their stomach always give a nice glimpse of their prey.
This one's my favourite:
Gastrotrichs are small (most commonly 0.1 - 0.5mm) transparent creatures. The name means, get this!! "hairy stomach" and refers to the carpet of cilia which covers the creature's underside, enabling it to glide smoothly over plant and other surfaces. The gastrotrich's back can be covered with scales, or more commonly, an array of curved spines of varying length as seen on this specimen.