It’s never great when you wake up before dawn and the streetlights are giving that eery glow – it can only mean one thing in these parts, FOG!
Weather very rarely causes an abandonment, but there is very little you can do or see if it’s foggy; just pray that the sun burns it off quickly or a breeze picks up that blows it somewhere else!

So, with not much else to do at 6am on a Sunday morning, the dog walked and fed, I packed the flask and headed off to Starr Gate to try and ‘will’ the fog away.

As usual, I wasn’t the first on the scene, Stewart, Len and Steve (and Skeeter) were already there and were busy ‘willing’ the fog away  – the results of which were not great as the images below show. Much fat was chewed for about an hour and after many repeats of ‘it’s starting to clear’, it thankfully started to clear. As it started clearing, another of the regulars, David, appeared out of the fog….we’re not sure if he’d been there all along and didn’t want to ask!

What made the wait worthwhile was that pretty much the first two birds we saw were two of the ‘regular’ Arctic Skuas, Stercorarius parasiticus, that kindly rewarded our patience.

The rest of the watch up to usual cut-off time of 10am was one that could be filed under ‘character building’ due to visibility, but just to prove that it is ALWAYS worth getting out of bed, we were also rewarded by a passing Tree Pipit, Anthus trivialis, and the more impressive local rarity of a drake Scaup, Aythya marila, the Scaup was in flight (south) and was, when observed by Len, the third bird in a line of twelve Common Scoter Melanitta nigra. This is the first Trektellen record for Starr Gate on records that go back to 2019 and I will find out how many have been observed from this location in the last four decades – I don’t think it’s that many and I’ll post an update when I find out.

The full count can be viewed in all its glory on Trektellen by clicking here . 16 Species in total and only 172 individuals – however, it was the quality rather than the quantity on this occassion.

Roll on next week!

Seawatch – 03/09/2023

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