Saturday, September 10, 2011

Arctic Skua:Ogmore Estuary

Myself and Peter Morgan popped down to Ogmore late morning today in the hope of catching up with the recently found Little Stint in better light than I had managed to photograph it on Thursday evening. We walked the riverbank down river from Portbello Island but the stint was nowhere to be seen,a migrating Wheatear posed at a distance but was flighty and some loafing Cormorants provided a nice photo opportunity. We decided to have a look a little further up river and after crossing under the bridge to the sewage works we picked up a nice Little Egret in flight which provided a brief photo opportunity.
As we got back to Portobello House and the car to make our way home the 200-300 roosting gulls all took flight in mad panic and in amongst them causing havoc was a juvenile Arctic Skua !!
Peter managed a few shots but I couldn't get on the bird with my camera before the skua and gulls all disappeared down river towards the rivermouth.
We jumped in my Jeep and followed picking up the skua from the west end of the main car park overlooking the rivermouth,it was still terrorizing the gulls and was chasing a Black-headed Gull in particular.
We dashed down the slipway and both managed some record shots of this superb unexpected bird.What a bonus after a very quiet couple of hours when the only other two birds of note were a pair of Common Sandpipers,just goes to show how unpredictable birding can be.

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