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bird notes.

Byline: ROBIN SANDHAM

THIS is such a great time of year to be out birding. Clear, cool mornings offer an opportunity to search a headland for migrants on the move.

Anything can turn up from the Far East or west, although some species are regular autumn visitors. Lapland buntings were seen on the Great Orme in Llandudno, The Range near Holyhead and on Bardsey Island.

Last week's gales produced a fine longtailed skua on a seawatch from the Little Orme, along with a black tern and several arctic and great skuas.

I returned from Bellmullet, County Mayo last week where highlights of the trip included a superb snowy owl at Blacksod.

All four species of skua were seen on a boat trip out to the continental shelf along with over 100 oceanic bottle-nosed dolphins and a blue shark.

A sabine's gull, a visitor from America, was seen from Kilcumin Head and landed on the sea next to a sun fish from which it began to pick lice. Icing on the cake was a 3m basking shark feeding in Dublin Bay seen from the ferry.

The expected good numbers of large shearwater species didn't materialise and sightings overall seem to be down. It is thought the birds are still further south in the Biscay where food must still be available.

CAPTION(S):

Great skuas were spotted on the Little Orme
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Sep 4, 2010
Words:229
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