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Post Info TOPIC: Isle of Man Sea Crossing


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RE: Isle of Man Sea Crossing


Hi the Peets,

Thank you very much for that. We do visit the IOM so that is very useful information.

Regards,

anne

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Anne

The landfill site has been made good.

If you drive past where the tip used to be and down the side of the lighthouse you can basically sit in your car and seawatch - gannets, terns, divers, waders.....

A lot of the sightings recorded at the Point of Ayre are at the gravel pits to which there is no public access yet - there is talk of the gravel pits becoming a nature reserve which would be great given their position and what has already been seen there

For seawatching on the west coast try from N to S:
anywhere between The Lhen and the Point of Ayre - Ballaghennie, Smeale, Rue Point & Blue Point;
Ballaugh beach;
Glen Wyllin;
Glen Mooar;
Peel Bay and Peel Castle - eider, black guillemot & divers;
Peel Hill;
Glen Maye; and
Niarbyl

The south of the Island is good for birding too - Derbyhaven, Langness, Scarlett, Carrick Bay, Kallow Point & The Sound - also trips to the Calf of Man in Summer

We also have an important hen harrier roost in Ballaugh Curraghs.

It's a strange place for birds, for example, no jay or bullfinch but you might be lucky enough to see chough, stonechat & hen harrier whilst driving to B & Q!!

When I lived in Ramsey I sat and watched a hen harrier quartering a field at the back of our house from the dining room - not bad, a cup of tea, a chocolate hobknob & a hunting hen harrier!!

Then again you could come for a fortnight and see nowt with day after day of mist & drizzle

Regards
The Peet family


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Thanks for the replies folks. The only other birding I've done out at sea has been from the Newcastle to Bergen and Newcastle to Kristiansand (Norway) ferries, although these have now been discontinued. Probably expected too much but nevertheless it was still an enjoyable day out.

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Hello the Peet Family,

I notice that the Point of Ayre is a hot spot but I recall just a big landfill site there. Where can you birdwatch? Also, where are the best sea watching spots on the west coast please?

Anne

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Mark

We live on the IOM and usually get a cabin on crossings as seawatching is not great until you get near Heysham - I'd rather have a good kip in readiness for the motorway madness ahead than waste my time out on deck

Also, Douglas Bay is not great for birds.

Here is some info. in case you do get over for a few days - as you can see, the seawatching on the west coast is none too shabby - also note the recent influx of Lapland Bunting at coastal sites

See
http://www.homepages.mcb.net/wormwell/

http://www.manxbirdatlas.org.uk/index.shtml

http://www.manxbirdphotography.co.uk/

Please do not hesitate to send me a message if you need anything more specific

Regards
The Peet family

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I'm on the Mersey Ferries Bird Cruise out into Liverpool Bay, this coming wednesday,
just seen the forecast, strong winds are ok, but torrential rain & pour visibility doesn't sound great !

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Thats a shame Mark but when I've sailed the Irish Sea with my husband I've never found many birds until we've got south of the Calf and west of the IOM when we used to see lots of Stormies and Manxies. If we went north to Whitehaven and then across to Ramsey we would see Guillemots, Terns and eventually, Gannets. I think in Autumn most birds migrate straight down the Irish Sea and only get east of the IOM when there's west in the wind. I bet last weekend would have good.

I have often wondered about a sea watch on the west coast of the IOM in Autumn. You can certainly see Basking sharks from Peel in the summer so why not sea birds later in the year?!

-- Edited by Anne Wilkinson on Sunday 26th of September 2010 12:37:14 PM

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Been meaning to do this for a few years and finally booked it over t'internet on Thursaday night with the Isle of Man Steam Packet Company. Sailed from Heysham yesterday at 14.15 which meant three and a half hours sea watching before the ferry reached Douglas. I wanted the return leg on the same day, so the crossing back to Heysham was at 20.00. Obviously it was dark by then, so it meant birding on the outward leg only.

Disappointing. I don't know whether expectations were high following the great birds blown in to the coast following recent strong westerlies, but there was not a lot about. Amongst other stuff :-

Guillemot (c.300)
Puffin (c.15)
Great Skua (2)
Gannet (c.30)

Douglas beach :-

Dunlin (2)
Oystercatcher (30+)
Heron (2)
Hooded Crow (5)

So... no Fulmar or other Petrels, Kittiwake or Shearwaters! Definitely dissapointing, but at 34 quid return (a bit cheaper if you book more in advance), it's a decent day out. May just do it again next month. If so, will combine it with a couple of hours birding at Heysham and perhaps come back from Douglas the following day to allow a bit more time on the island.

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