Aug 012016
 

The morning started rather foggy and dreary, a big change from the amazingly warm weather we had been experiencing (up to 21c yesterday) and much more akin to the weather we were expecting. However, fairly quickly the fog cleared and the morning morning was gloriously sunny although rain set-in in the afternoon.

We spent the morning on the Gas Pipeline Road and Cakeater Road, one of the first birds was a stunning almost all white male Snowy Owl. A 1st winter Thayer’s Gull flew overhead and we enjoyed the waders around the lagoon here including some stunning Western Sandpiper, one of which had a ridiculous number of rings plus a leg-flag, the flag was causing the bird to trip as it fed.

I don’t understand the mentality of fitting so many rings to a bird.

Snowy Owl (male) – Cakeeater Road, Barrow

Thayer’s Gull (1st winter) – Cakeeater Road, Barrow

Thayer’s Gull (1st winter) – Cakeeater Road, Barrow

Western Sandpiper – Cakeeater Road, Barrow

The next inlet produced a stunning summer plumaged Red-necked Stint showing at close range and displaying to a Western Sandpiper. Also here were Red-breasted Merganser, Greater White-fronted Goose, Dunlin,American Golden Plover and Long-billed Dowitcher.

Red-necked Stint – Cakeeater Road, Barrow

Red-necked Stint – Cakeeater Road, Barrow

Red-necked Stint – Cakeeater Road, Barrow

Red-necked Stint – Cakeeater Road, Barrow

Red-necked Stint – Cakeeater Road, Barrow

Red-necked Stint – Cakeeater Road, Barrow

Red-necked Stint – Cakeeater Road, Barrow

Red-necked Stint – Cakeeater Road, Barrow

Western Sandpiper – Cakeeater Road, Barrow

Western Sandpiper – Cakeeater Road, Barrow

Western Sandpiper – Cakeeater Road, Barrow

Long-billed Dowitcher – Cakeeater Road, Barrow

Long-billed Dowitcher – Cakeeater Road, Barrow

Long-billed Dowitcher – Cakeeater Road, Barrow

Greater White-fronted Goose (gambelli) – Cakeeater Road, Barrow

American Golden Plover – Cakeeater Road, Barrow

Dunlin of race articola – Cakeeater Road, Barrow

Further along Gas Pipe Road a stunning pair of Spectacled Eider showed well close to the road and we spent some time enjoying these birds. Absolutely stunning in the morning sunshine.

Further on towards the end of the road we enjoyed views of Grey Phalarope, Red-necked Phalarope, Tundra Swan and Pacific Diver.

Spectacled Eider – Gas Pipe Road, Barrow

Spectacled Eider – Gas Pipe Road, Barrow

Spectacled Eider – Gas Pipe Road, Barrow

Spectacled Eider – Gas Pipe Road, Barrow

Spectacled Eider – Gas Pipe Road, Barrow

Spectacled Eider (female) – Gas Pipe Road, Barrow

Spectacled Eider – Gas Pipe Road, Barrow

Spectacled Eider (female) – Gas Pipe Road, Barrow

Spectacled Eider – Gas Pipe Road, Barrow

Spectacled Eider – Gas Pipe Road, Barrow

Spectacled Eider – Gas Pipe Road, Barrow

Spectacled Eider – Gas Pipe Road, Barrow

Red-necked Phalarope – Gas Pipe Road, Barrow

Red-necked Phalarope – Gas Pipe Road, Barrow

Red-necked Phalarope – Gas Pipe Road, Barrow

Red-necked Phalarope – Gas Pipe Road, Barrow

Red-necked Phalarope – Gas Pipe Road, Barrow

Grey Phalarope (male) – Gas Pipe Road, Barrow

Grey Phalarope (female) – Gas Pipe Road, Barrow

Grey Phalarope (female) – Gas Pipe Road, Barrow

American Golden Plover – Gas Pipe Road, Barrow

American Golden Plover – Gas Pipe Road, Barrow

Snow Bunting – Gas Pipe Road, Barrow

Snow Bunting – Gas Pipe Road, Barrow

Snow Bunting (female) – Gas Pipe Road, Barrow

Snow Bunting – Gas Pipe Road, Barrow

Tundra Swan – Gas Pipe Road, Barrow

Red-necked Phalarope – Gas Pipe Road, Barrow

Red-necked Phalarope (male to left) – Gas Pipe Road, Barrow

Red-necked Phalarope (male) – Gas Pipe Road, Barrow

Pectoral Sanpiper – Gas Pipe Road, Barrow

Pintail – Gas Pipe Road, Barrow

After dinner we spent the early evening on Barrow Point where three Polar Bear were still present but not showing as well as previous days, in fact they were mainly asleep.

We spent some time messing around on the beach and on the shores of the frozen sea before heading for bed a little earlier than usual due to the rain.

 

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Simon Colenutt

Simon Colenutt

I began birdwatching at the age of nine when living on the Isle of Wight. After obtaining a copy of the Isle of Wight Bird Report from 1976 I realised that Manx Shearwater, Arctic Skua, Pomarine Skua and Black Tern were regularly seen at St.Catherine's Point, only five miles from my home village of Chale Green. To a nine year old these birds were near mythical and so I just had to go and try to see them. Little did I know that these birds were seasonal and after a long winter of seeing nothing I eventually started to bump into other birdwatchers as March drew to a close. It was then that Dave Hunnybun, Dave Wooldridge, Paul Castle, Peter Gandy and Audrey Wilkinson introduced me to the art of seawatching and the joys of bird migration, I have not looked back since.

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Daphne Watson

These pictures are truly spectacular Simon. Would you consider showing some on the Isle of wight in the winter?

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