Cut End, the Wash, Boston Sun13th Oct 2013.

P1060441Horrendous conditions for humans meant great conditions for seawatching. N and NE winds with driving horizontal rain saw me heading to Cut end. Had some great birds. Hundreds of gannets passed in both directions, at one stage 50 were resting on the sea after a particularly heavy stormy spell.

Yesterday Paul Sullivan had a few Leach’s Petrels here and this was one of my targets, but the first petrel I saw was a Stormie, not Leach’s, probably scarcer on this coast. A Leach’s did show later, though.

All four Skuas showed and in good numbers too. A couple of Poms with full spoons were sat on the sea for a while. Loads of Bonxies were seen, along with a few Long-tailed skuas and Arctics. I’m grateful to Steve Kieghtly for helping me ID a few of them, he arrived later, along with Paul S and Adrian White. At times groups of up to 20 Bonxies passed, mostly well out.

An adult and a couple of juvenile Little gulls fed with several Sandwich terns close to shore. Single Black tern and Common tern also noted. One Kittiwake seen.

Ducks were represented by: Eider,6. Goldeneye,4. Common scoter,30. Velvet scoter,4. Red-breasted merganser,7. Scaup,12. Wigeon, lots. Teal,20.

7 Great-crested grebes dived, offshore and in the river mouth. A Slavonian grebe was on the sea near the Tab’s head marker. I had a single Shearwater sp.,very distant..A few Red-throated divers flew south and another sat on the sea, close in.

Not many auks spotted, apart from a Guillimot, and later I picked up a small bird that landed right in front of us-it was a Little auk , brilliant !

Paul and Steve noted two other great seabirds (Sabine’s gull and Grey phalarope), but I missed these.

A dozen Whooper swans passed overhead, going towards Norfolk. Brent geese are arriving, c.550 seen today. Two Marsh harriers appeared late afternoon and lots of redwings fed on hawthorns near the car park. 25 Little egrets roosting high in the small plantation when I arrived.

Phew !  Gonna have a celebratory pint now, Cheers.