dinsdag 11 oktober 2011

7 oktober - Zeerukken bij Westkapelle

I love seawatching, always have done and have never understood people who don't like it. Once i passed my driving test i went to Cornwall every year to spend several days sat at Porthgwarra or Pendeen, i also spent a coupe of days at Bridges of Ross and once settled into birding Portland was quite happy stood staring out to sea....it's therapeutic, hypnotic or something like that, but when someone shouts 'skua' it's just exciting. Surely one of the greatest sights in birding is seeing a skua (any species but preferably one of Arctic, Pomarine or Long-tailed) against a stormy sea-scape. They are just so cool, powerful, the wing shape, flight style etc. And then to think that they have bred somewhere on the Arctic tundra, feasting on lemmings and are now heading south to winter off West Africa or even further south.
Ok, waffle over....the forecast was looking good for Westkapelle and despite 'suggestions' that people should avoid Westkapelle i wasn't going to be that easily fooled! So i got up at 315am and was sat in the dark at Wk by 6am. Those of you who know me can confirm that when i get excited (mainly in sep-oct) i cant sleep....there were many occasions when i would wake early in Dorset and find myself sat in the car, waiting for it to get light at Portland (a journey of only 30minutes). I would wind myself up into a frenzy of excitement at the slightest sight of a Wheatear in the headlights, a calling Song Thrush in the dark etc...
Ok i think im really done with the nostalgia now.....it turned out to be a great days seawatching, made all the more enjoyable with the company of Herman, Bas, Pim, Frank (briefly - brief company as oppoed to briefly enjoyable!) and Gerben. Our totals for the day were surpassed by the more southerly seawatchers by the restaurant, but with final totals of 103 Bonxie, 120 Arctics,16 Poms, 4 Long-tails, 4 Sabine's, 28 Leach's, 1 Stormy, 17 Manx, 1 Sooty, 6 Grey phals, 2 Black-throats, 1 Med Gull, lots of Little Gulls and 33 skua sp we weren't complaining!
The day was rounded off by Herman finding the Stormy, a world lifer for him, but sadly just minutes after nearly everyone else had gone home. Still, i enjoyed it, although it was more fun to see Hermans enjoyment! Washed down with a couple of triples and a decent meal, a truly memorable day!

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