Thursday, 10 December 2015

Ramsey Sound and the general area

We spent several hours watching the sea in Ramsey Sound today. Whilst there, we undertook our first non-estuarine water-bird survey (NEWS) of the winter period. There were not too many birds around but it was nice to see a couple of great northern divers; one flew through Ramsey Sound and another fed for more than an hour in Porthselau bay mainly on crabs and also some bivalve molluscs.

There were at least 35 curlews in the bay plus typical small flocks of dip-feeding black-headed gulls and kittiwakes offshore, notably off Gwahan. Two pairs of chough fed along the coast between Point St John and St Justinian.

Small numbers of auks (razorbills and guillemots) fed in the Sound and small flocks passed through the Sound or along the north side of Ramsey. A couple of porpoises swam north through the Sound close to Ramsey during late afternoon. A sparrowhawk hunted along the cliffs, occasionally flushing song thrushes and blackbirds. Other interesting birds included three pale-breasted brent geese that flew through the Sound mid-morning.