Saturday, 20 January 2018

Glaucous surprise

Sometimes the rubbish you talk comes back to haunt, although you don't mind when it is a top notch patch year tick.  I said to Peter Sharples and his wife that there was no point in checking Fisher's Roof (now a walk 'cos of road closure) as "there wont be any new big gulls because its calm".  So they go and just beat the WeBs counters to it on Red Nab with a fine huge pale juvenile Glaucous Gull.  Unfortunately, didn't risk getting the car stuck on the sodden grass to use window clamp phone-scope and balancing it on the fence produced farcical results before the bird was flushed by an off-lead dog.  Thanks to Bill Aspin for managing to sort out a video grab of sorts where "at least you can see the bill"!

Coastal stuff
Glaucous Gull - Juv on Red Nab from at least 1305 to about 1320 then flew north along the seawall and was not seen again despite an extensive search up to Morecambe West End Groyne as per the WeBs
Pale-bellied Brent Goose - Two on OE saltmarsh at least 1300hrs
OE saltmarsh plus the Brents from OE 'top tier' looking back north

Chough - seen at least twice in the morning along half moon bay edge

Friday, 19 January 2018

Very unexpected Fulmar

A few decent bits and bobs including a Fulmar heading out pretty quickly at c1115 which didn't appear to have an all-white head and certainly not a paler tail, but views were brief and at a poor angle.  Certainly not an obvious dark morph e.g. the underwing coverts were pale and it stays as "a Fulmar".  Next best were two Little Gulls seemingly related to the incoming ferry

Earthworm sequence in field next to half moon bay cafe (thanks Janet)

Sea on and off 1050-1245
Fulmar - one out c1115
Little Gull - ad and 1st W slowly out - picked up soon after ferry arrived
Kittiwake - moribund looking 1st W in harbour entrance, just one ad behind ferry
Med Gull - ad behind ferry - flew back out straight away (not Czech bird)

Brent Goose - two pale-bellied Red Nab on incoming tide
Med Gull - ad Knowlys road field HT roost
Ringed Plover - 44 Knowlys road HT roost
Goldcrest - two by HNR office

Thursday, 18 January 2018

Woodcock joins the year list

Middleton NR
Mute 8 (4 pairs)
Moorhen 3
Tufted 4 (3 male)
Gadwall 16 (11 male)
Teal at least 50
Mallard 8
Ware Rail 1 (two heard)
Common Snipe 1
No Cettis - two observers checking in calmish conditions

Woodcock 1. This was in strip along golf club, but there is some wood management going on in wood behind Tradebe, so I suspect it originally came from there.
Goldcrest 1.

Ocean Edge saltmarsh
Pale-bellied Brent Goose - two at HT exactly as yesterday (see pic)
Stonechat - female in corner as yesterday

Heysham half moon bay
Chough(ish) - seen from moving car at same time as two Carrion Crows were flushed off Half Moon Bay fields c1320hrs when in hurry - flight silhouette looked fine!

Wednesday, 17 January 2018

Skylark added to the year list!

Ocean Edge incoming tide
2 x Pale Bellied Brent on salt marsh by 11:00. But were not on Red Nab earlier. Suspect it was too rough.
There was also a drake Eider with them today.
Stonechat still easily located in NE corner where all the last storm's jetsam is now decaying.
Skylark 1 behind OE foreshore bund .

I have attached a location shot, taken from slipway area. It shows were the Brent typically are, but also shows the corner where the Stonechat frequents. Directly behind them where the wooden fence ends.

Thanks Malcolm

Chough - on Half Moon Bay fields mid-pm and seen earlier along the headland
Stonechat - female along half moon bay beach

Med Gull - Czech ad north wall

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Guillemot joins the year list

Pale-bellied Brent Goose - 2 Red Nab 0915 then later in the tide on OE saltmarsh before heading towards Potts corner in rough seas
Snipe - 23 OE saltmarsh
Jack Snipe - 2 OE saltmarsh
Stonechat - female still NE corner OE saltmarsh
Linnet/Twite - distant singleton in flight
Chough - showing well today in fields and right next to Half Moon Bay Cafe:

Thanks Janet 

Guillemot - one out c1145
Kittiwake - 11 adult behind IOM lunchtime ferry
Med Gull - adult Knowlys road fields

Monday, 15 January 2018

Brent logistics

The two wintering Pale-bellied Brent Geese (note also a third bird south towards Potts Corner on at least two dates) have been difficult to locate.  Malcolm has worked out a pattern:

It is clear that the lowest high tide resulting in a sighting on south side was 8.4m.
The northern side is less well reported, but 3 of the 5 records were for tides less than 8.0m. The "anomaly" being the record on skeer just to north of HH on 31/12 on 9.05m tide. However I suspect this would have been quite a while before high water, as this skeer is covered early.

In summary: it appears that the north side is favoured, until tides are sufficiently high to force the birds to the south, for the duration of high water at least.

Todays sightings
Brent Goose - two PB on OE saltmarsh at HT
Stonechat - female still around OE saltmarsh
No sign of yesterday's singleton Twite on OE

Sunday, 14 January 2018

Elusive chat reappears

Thanks to Janet for today's pics

The female Stonechat to the south of the harbour reappeared today along OE:
The HMB female Stonechat was also seen today

Chough - three reports this afternoon - sheep field and area

Brent Goose - two in flight from south wall - heading N but presumably THE two returning to the north side of harbour?  We'll see

Twite - one OE saltmarsh

Lots of Knot and Oystercatcher on the heliport seawall