Friday, 31 August 2012
With the wind swinging from the South to the North late in the day I headed over to Thopeness for an evening sea watch. The wind was a moderate to strong northwest, with the last of the persistent rain clearing just before I arrived. Almost the first birds I looked at were a flock of 8 Lon-tailed Skuas heading south, with their small tern like jizz and playful shearing flight making them obvious. Several hundred terns were also heading south in mixed flocks, in total some 4000+ birds passed by with at least 8 Arctic and 4 Black terns identified. 3 Arctic Skuas also passed by with a further flock of 4 Long-tailed Skuas added soon after having also been seen at Sizewell. 5 swifts, 2 Ruff and 4 Fulmar were the best supporting birds. The Skua passage ended about an hour after I arrived but the tern flocks kept coming right up until I left at 7.30pm.