With the passage of the Alex storm in the Bay of Biscay, during 1 and 2 October, Portugal, and particular the Peniche area, was affected with some showers and moderate wind from the West. During Friday I did count for 6 hours, 3 hours in the morning from daybreak, and 3 hours from mid-afternoon until almost sunset.
Was very interesting to notice some differences, during the day, of the occurrence pattern of the species. In the first 1,5 hours, in the morning, there was a good movement of Sooty shearwaters with 248 inds. After this, the Balearics started to pick up with 884 inds. moving south. There was also a steady flow of Great Skuas during the day, with an average of about 70 birds per hour. Late in the morning, a small flock of 3 Long-tailed skuas was one of the highlights. To notice is the record of 4 Great shearwaters, a species that seems to be scarce from land in Peniche.
In the afternoon there were the first records of the season of Grey phalarope (8 inds.) and a single Great northern diver. There was also more movement o Common scoters (290 ind.)
To notice is also the passage of a juvenile Sabine´s gull that was only seen by Pedro Ramalho during lunchtime.
Common scoter: 326
Great northern diver: 1
Cory´s shearwater: 283
Sooty shearwater: 292
Great shearwater: 4
Manx shearwater: 104
Balearic shearwater: 1.113
Grey phalarope: 8
Sandwich tern: 71
Acrtic tern: 6
Great skua: 408
Pomarine skua: 38
Arctic skua: 76
Long-tailed skua: 3
I remember, as a child, of the eternal summers, running and digging on the extensive sandy beaches that involve Peniche. Still unaware that, most likely, my image was being reflected on the eye of a wandering Arctic tern, flying over the beach, on its way south. Later, in my teens, I started to go seawatching at the cape, what a wonderful, and unforgettable feeling the first group of fast-moving, heavy-bellied Balearic shearwaters. Because Peniche has always a special place in my heart, it's a great pleasure to know that the article with the data from 2015 Peniche Seabird Count Campaign was published in Marine Ornithology.
I would like to thank all the volunteers and sponsors. I wish to dedicate this article to Häkan Peterson in particular. We did share a lot of seabirds and hours in Peniche, but sadly he is no longer here. His memory will endure, like the stubborn rocks at the cape.
You can download the article here: Article
Birding Portugal & Spain - Blog
2020 Count Totals:
I was born in west Portugal and began birding at the age of 11. I have particular interest in bird ringing (banding), moult, seabirds and rarities. Currently I work as a guide for Birds & Nature Tours.
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