A cracking start to December! Although some of the birds seem to be thinking summer thoughts already.. a couple of shags and cormorants are already in their summer courtship plumage and we were surprised to see the nesting ledges of the auks packed with guillemots! Last time we visited there wasn’t a single bird at the colony – this is possibly the earliest we have ever recorded guillemots to have returned here in advance of their breeding season. Another rare black-necked grebe and several divers were spotted in the Carrick Roads and over 30 grey seals were hauled out along the coast. Whilst we were offshore, we sadly encountered a dead common dolphin which was missing its tail and appeared to have a knife wound suggesting possible by-catch so this information has been passed on to the Marine Strandings Network for investigation. Just as we were thinking about heading back in we spotted a huge work up of gannets slightly further offshore so we decided to go for it. We were treated to an absolute stunner of a December sunset behind hundreds of silhouettes of gannets, and immediately had dolphins rush over to us to bow ride. Can safely say it was worth the slightly delayed return!
+-200 Common Dolphins, one large feeding group plus one large group of traveling group of travellers, total of 10 calves, 33 Atlantic Grey Seals, 30 hauled out, including a couple of last years pups, 1 Black Necked Grebe, 6 Great Northern Divers, 1 Black-Throated Diver, third for this year, lots of Kittiwakes, 100s of Guillemots, many at breeding site, very early arrival, Razorbills, offshore and flying through, 100s of Gannets, huge work up offshore plus several travellers, 1 Buzzard