January 10th   Leave a comment

Dead-man's fingers - lots of this sponge-like coral washed up on Roome Bay and Harbour beaches

Dead-man’s fingers – lots of this sponge-like coral washed up on Roome Bay and Harbour beaches

It’s an odd winter when it feels unusual to have cold fingers, but today was winter cold at last. Three degrees (sorry to anyone who comes from a properly cold place) and a stiff wind made it properly chilly today. The sea has got up again with a good swell from the south-east. Roome Bay is covered in wrack and a mess of lobster creels washed in from the swell of last week. The beach is also covered with dead-man’s fingers – a soft coral that is pink, fleshy and branched liked a deformed hand. This is a lower shore coral that will have been scourged up by the huge waves. I was down at Roome Bay hoping that maybe one of the grey phalaropes around at the moment chose there to feed. No luck but there were 9 goldeneyes close in. As I looked out to sea I also saw a large wader far out heading rapidly to shore – a woodcock – possibly a late migrant or one that got fed up with the May island. Number 93 for the year list in any case.

I spent an hour and a half this afternoon in the hide at Fife Ness enjoying the waves crashing in. A few little auks passed and a common scoter (number 94 for the year list). There was a good passage of guillemots and razorbills, over 30 gannets including a juvenile of this year which is very unusual for mid-winter and lost of red-throated divers mostly heading into the Forth. I caught a glimpse of a slavonian grebe between the waves but close in to the Ness – I consider myself lucky to see one or two a year and usually in September so this is another excellent bird for the year list – 95.

Slavonian Grebe - number 95

Slavonian Grebe – number 95

Posted January 10, 2016 by wildcrail in Sightings

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