Sunday, 4 May 2014

Artificial Island in the North Sea (and some Orcas)

So it's end of week 2 (of 6) aboard a ship in the north North Sea, between Shetland and Norway. Unfortunately no Eastern Subalps, Cretzschmar's or anything else of that caliber has landed on the vessel on my shift (to my knowledge) however there's been a few bit's and pieces.

So far, in no particular order, we've had 3 Blackcaps, 2 White wagtails, 1 Wood Pigeon, 1 Golden Plover, 1+ Redstart, 1 Robin, 1 Wheatear, 1+ Chiffchaff, 2 Sparrowhawk, 1 Kestrel & 1 Mealy Redpoll. We've also had several unidentified/unconfirmed/'seen briefly in flight' birds, including a Locustella sp., a probable Garden Warbler, a possible Wood Warbler (from description) and a thrush sp.

Robin and Wheatear by Sean Minns

Really nothing special and given the winds we could have hoped for more. It is however early May, the winds are again favourable and who knows what could turn up over the next month.

Despite no rarity aboard, a massive highlight was the presence of a group of at least 7 Orcas that spent just under an hour swimming parallel with the ship and hanging around on the surface, before swimming off in the other direction. This is my second time seeing Orcas around the UK after seeing them west of Shetland last year and these were much better views.

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