28.09.21 150 Balearic Shearwaters west

A strong SSW wind with variable cloud conditions bright spells with occasional squalls.

Following on from events at Dungeness yesterday I had some confidence there could be some decent seawatching from Beachy Head today with Balearic Shearwater the main target. I arrived at 08:20 to a westerly passage of Gannet, distant Terns, Black-headed Gull, the odd Common Gull and Mediterranean Gull. I quickly began to pick up small numbers of Balearic Shearwater passing west but noted they were tracking out to sea away from Birling Gap, after recording 57 from the location I quickly relocated to Cow Gap for a better perspective on the unfolding proceedings. Al Redman joined me there shortly after.

Sure enough the birds were taking a line much closer to shore here and from there I recorded another 93 bring the total seen to 150.

Things calmed some what after midday with birds coming through at a slower pace. A shout by Al Redman as a Sooty Shearwater scythed past was a wake up moment. As much as I tried, I failed to pick out any Manx Shearwater today although I did allow a number of distant birds to pass without ID from Birling Gap earlier.

Also seen 3 Arctic Skua, c20 Common Scoter and c10 Brent Geese. A decent last days birding on Beachy Head before departing for 3 weeks on St Agnes, Isle of Scilly.


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