A pretty mundane August weatherwise ended with high pressure firmly in control and sitting directly over Scotland. Ordinarily, this means warm sunny days and this is true for a lot of the country currently, with record-breaking temperatures but here on the east coast, it means cloud and lots of it! There are some bonuses with high pressure and cloudy mornings though, the air flows outward and thus creates a clockwise air circulation resulting in a northerly or northeasterly airflow. Almost perfect for sea watching at this time of year.
|The View East from the drivers seat|
|This passing Great Skua is close enough for a record shot.|
Plenty on the rocks below before settling in with Wheatear, Golden Plover, Turnstone, Oystercatcher, Ringed Plover, and the odd passing flock of Dunlin. Once I began I didn't have to wait long until the first Great Skua passed north, one of sixteen observed today.
There was a constant passage of Sandwich Terns throughout my stay and plenty of juvenile Kittiwakes to search through, sadly I couldn't deliver a hoped-for Sabines Gull, always on my 'A' list of possibilities.
|Close in Fulmar in the gloom|
Fulmars are always a treat to watch as they skim low over the water and today the conditions were perfect for them.
|Gannet heading into the wind|
Plenty of Gannet activity too with both adult and juvenile birds making the odd theatrical dive, always a treat to watch. Although an enjoyable few hours it wasn't as busy as I'd hoped for and my final counts are: (3) Red-throated Diver (south↓) (5) Sooty Shearwater, (3) Manx Shearwater, and a single Arctic Skua. Also of note a small movement of Wigeon and Teal, plus a Minke Whale, which breached briefly while scanning but too far for any images.
Both Bar-tailed & Black-tailed Godwit (photo) along the Ythan today.
Stops along the Ythan at the Waulkmill Hide and Snub Layby before heading home produced the usual hoards of Waders, which included Spotted Redshank but I'm still waiting to register my first Little Stint or Curlew Sandpiper for the Ythan. Two Ospreys, which for me are always a bonus, despite, dare I say, common here at this time of year!