Gale and severe gale force winds have put a stop to migration. After a couple of days of brisk northerlies which brought down thousands of fulmars, kittiwakes and gannets plus a smattering of little auks it now feels very quiet with just the occasional common seabird passing by. However, a couple of days ago I was treated to four short- eared owls flying over the sea and heading WSW. Quite a weird sight seeing these lovely birds on passage over the waves. I saw them all in the first hour of daylight so my photos. are not the best but they will have to do. I saw two single birds then two together and it was interesting to see them occasionally harried and mobbed by the herring and great black backed gulls- as if the owls did not have enough to contend with! Although their buoyant flight was relatively strong one bird almost ditched as it banked sharply to avoid an aerial assault from a herring gull. Hopefully they all made it ashore. I'm eagerly anticipating the wind going back around to the North and East as I'm sure a red flanked blue tail or dusky warbler could be on the agenda.
|southerly gale F8 with 6 metre waves|