Wednesday 20 May 2009

Last Chance Saloon

I haven't been blogging for a while for a couple of reasons, firstly I haven't seen much and secondly I have been doing so much seawatching that I've been too tired (and mostly disappointed too) in the evenings to blog. We've had several days of nice windy seawatching weather and I'd been looking forward to seeing a Pomarine Skua or two or even an Arctic Skua (I'm not that choosy), but no such luck, almost all the Poms have sneaked past while I was elsewhere, and I wasn't elsewhere that often!
During an average five hour seawatch yesterday morning I was able to pop back home, grab an extra layer of clothing, make myself a nice cup of tea and amble leisurely back to the AYC without missing anything of note. Therefore a while later when the inevitable effects of the cuppa were becoming a little bit distracting, I was quite confident I would be able to 'relieve the situation' without missing too much. I was WRONG!! The moment my back was turned a couple of obliging Arctic Skuas flew by, straight into the Skua congested pages of Gav's notebook. Perhaps I shouldn't have given in to the 'call of nature' so easily? I don't know...Would I pee myself for a Pom!? Almost certainly NOT! I'm not quite that demented yet! :-) Another individual 'rubbed salt in the wound' by passing by that evening while I was safely tucked away at work! You may have noticed that I said almost all the Poms sneaked past, well that's because one actually flew past while I was in position and watching! Steve and Gav both saw it but I couldn't 'get on it' at all. The same is true for an earlier unidentified Skua too. I cannot blame misfortune for missing these and so I am therefore relinquishing my title (self proclaimed I confess) of 'Saeton's Hardest Seawatcher' to become 'Seaton's Lamest Seawatcher' :(.
This morning I was out at the AYC again, my 'last chance saloon' it seemed. It was hopeless, the wind had dropped and for the second time this week I found myself falling asleep at my scope in the excitement of it all. I will just have to hope for better fortune come the autumn. Yesterday's lengthy seawatch wasn't a total loss though, I always reckon that if you stay watching for long enough you'll see something good. Yesterday this something good was a nice view of a Storm Petrel, Other highlights were a Hobby being bullied by an Herring Gull, which actually had hold of the Hobby for a moment! Also a Grey Seal ( uncommon off here) close to shore, accompanied by an attendant flock of gulls, always a dead giveaway that there's a Seal around, I presume Seals must be particularly messy eaters.

I have a bit of ringing news, remember our colour-ringed Black-tailed Godwits, well one of them has been sighted. This one:

GOO has been seen in Iceland, which is nice!

I'm thinking of taking up a new hobby instead of birding, but what? Any suggestions? Preferably something I'm good at........ No! NOT moaning....


Gavin Haig said...

I can't honestly recommend another hobby as they all tend to lead to dangerous obsessiveness - which, thankfully, birding doesn't.

PS. The skua that Steve and I had was only a probable Pom. Hopefully that news is comforting - I always feel much better when I learn that my ineptitude didn't really matter that much. ;o)

Karen Woolley said...

I overlooked the probable status of the Pom simply to get a wee bit more 'moaning mileage' out of it. Selfish I know. ;-D