Tuesday, 4 May 2010

7.10am Wednesday 5 May 2010

The sea is virtually flat. There is a swell of sorts, a lazy half foot pushed by a force 3 northwesterly breeze that's full of drizzle right now.

Low 05.15 1.3m
High 11.43 2.9m
Low 17.37 1.6m

There are exciting goings-on at the wrack hole this morning, where the small sea duck, the scoter, has come inshore to conduct her annual mating rituals. The scoter spends most of its life out on the waves, eats and sleeps there, where it can be seen (through binoculars) paddling away through the biggest storms.  They migrate all the way to Fermanagh (10-20 miles) for nesting, on Lower Lough Erne, where predatory mink have made inroads on their numbers. The scoter is relatively rare in Ireland and Rossnowlagh is home to one of Ireland's less than half dozen colonies.

In this morning's photographs the female scoter has 3 admirers but she does seem to have a favourite. They can keep this up all day so it's a good chance to see scoter and enjoy their playful darting about in the water without having to use binoculars. They are small and black and the drake has some white wing feathers. Pictures, my best shots from the cliff with a little digital, are below:

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