27 February 2011

Black and grey Sunday

An adult Peregrine at Sawara this afternoon. We had intended to go up to Yakumo for one last bash at the eagles but it was a dark grey sleety kind of morning so we gave up on that particular idea and headed over to Shikabe and Sawara instead.

One of the small fishing ports had several interesting species.......

These Black Scoter were outside the port and seemed a bit shy, this is a species I've never really managed to photograph well, these cropped record shots being pretty typical....

There was a flock of Scaup, one or two Goldeneye, 4 harlequin Duck and 2 Black Necked Grebe.

In previous years early March to early April often sees large numbers of this species hitting the local ports, hopefully 2011 will be the same.

I had a look on the beach at Sawara for the Snow Buntings that have apparently been around for most of the winter. I tried a couple of times earlier this winter but was defeated by the snowdrifts. Most of the deep snow has gone now so walking out to the beach was possible. I couldn't find any Snow Bunting  unfortunately, indeed I haven't seen any since a small flock in the mid 1980's in Fleetwood. It was hard work walking around the dunes, my back/leg still isn't right and there was also driving snow. I never seem to see much at Sawara, it always looks like there should be lots of rare and interesting stuff around but whenever I go there I just get tired out traipsing through the black sand dunes.

This location was well-known about 10 years ago for an overwintering Gyrfalcon (which I never saw). No Gyr but there was this adult Peregrine at least...........

On the beach were 000's of Gulls.

There is a foul smelling fish processing factory nearby so there are always loads of Gulls and Black Kites around. I suppose I should have checked the flocks to see if there was anything unusual but it was cold and I was tired and I'm crap at IDing Gulls too.

This Glaucous Gull looked pretty normal but some of the others looked rather small.............

My wife can't understand why anyone could be interested in Gulls.

So that is probably the start of the end of winter.................

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  1. Nice record of the peregrine and that's an amazing shot, second from the bottom, of all those gulls.

  2. A dreary day maybe but your usual good variety Stu.A nice shot of the Gauc, we dont seem to get many nowadays, at least since Fleetwood "Biffer" disappeared some years ago.

  3. Hi Phil, I saw a Glaucous Gull in Fleetwood in 1997, was that the same one?

  4. Is that Slaty-backed at the bottom left ? We've a few gulls around here now in HK, but the tides aren't quite right for optimum views/photos.

    Enjoyed the Steller's shots earlier... Black-necked Grebe, Black Scoter.. it's all good !

  5. Stu, that would be the one nicknamed "Biffer" because it was so big and aggressive, came back for year after year until it snuffed it somewhere along the line but I bet it wasn't predated.


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