Had planned a quick couple of hours at Goldcliff Point this morning, hoping for a lingering diver, but ended up at the pools on a wild dead possible auk chase.
Having arrived at the point it became immediately obvious I wasn't going to be inundated with seabirds. The wind was almost nonexistent and the only stuff moving was larid and groups of duck. A fair number of duck were also dotted across the water; mostly Wigeon, Teal and Mallard, a few Pintail and Gadwall were chucked in for good measure. Whilst sorting through a distant flock of Wigeon a Peregrine suddenly loomed into the top of the scope view. I had just noticed the falcon was on the tail of something before it was all over and the Peregrine banked, scattered the remainder of the ducks, and plucked the body off the water's surface. Trouble was, I hadn't been able to ID the something, but now the Peregrine was labouring towards the point with a small, wet, dumpy body slung in its talons. Unfortunately, before making landfall, it veered off to the west giving only ropey views. If, and it is an if,... if what I thought was the head, was the head; and if, and it is another if,... if I saw all of the bill, then it only had a short stubby bill; finally, if, and it is yet another if,... if I have duffed a Little Auk having seen hundreds of thousands last year, I'll be ever so slightly miffed.
I did charge round to the pools hoping the Peregrine would be sat scoffing an interesting brunch on an easily viewed post,... no chance.
One of the better games of 'possibles and probables' I have been involved in.
PS. Here and here are a couple of photographs of Little Auks/Dovekies to keep you/me going.