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Spring to remember for birdwatcher Watson

Keen birdwatcher Paul Watson had a spring to remember.

Perched at Cooper's Point in June, Mr Watson counted some 2,500 great shearwater in just 80 minutes, he reported in the summer edition of the Bermuda Audubon Society newsletter.

Mr Watson said: “On the afternoon of June 5, I literally couldn't count the birds fast enough.

“After one hour, 20 minutes, I was mentally exhausted.

“I had seen eight species but counted an unbelievable 2,500 great shearwater in that time.”

He added: “In many years of looking from Cooper's Point, I have never seen the ocean as full of birds as that day.

“However, David Wingate states he does recall a similar count once during the 1970s.”

Mr Watson said the 2,500 count came just eight days after he saw up to 800 great shearwater an hour. At the time, he said, he “thought 800 shearwaters in one hour could not be beaten”.

In May, he said a “highlight” was the sighting of “three species of petrel: our cahow (Bermuda petrel), the returning dark morph Trindade petrel and a likely black-capped petrel”.

Back in March, he “had the treat of counting 104 Cory's shearwater in one hour, 40 minutes — literally one per minute”.

Mr Watson said he borrowed a Swarovski ATX 95 telescope for his spring viewing, which he said “added immensely to the quality of my bird sightings”.

Reflecting on his good fortune, he said: “I spend many, probably too many, hours looking over the ocean from Cooper's Point, often rewarded with good sightings, sometimes seeing nothing at all!

“But the good days really offset the poor ones, and this spring will for ever stand out in my memory.”

Great shearwater (File photograph)

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Published August 18, 2020 at 9:00 am (Updated August 18, 2020 at 8:42 am)

Spring to remember for birdwatcher Watson

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