Monday, 31 December 2007

As you were

Heysham Obs
North harbour wall
Ad & 2nd W Med Gull but no sign of any Purple Sandpiper

Ocean Edge
1+ Twite heard on the saltmarsh

180 Pink-footed Geese south c1130hrs

Kingfisher flew from Obs T. pond towards NR marsh late afternoon

Middleton IE
Waterbirds included: 34 Snipe. 19 Teal, 5 Tufted Duck, female Pochard, 3 Goldeneye

Purple Sandpiper Morecambe Stone jetty early morning
No sign Ruddy Duck Pine Lake
Greenshank and Spotted Redshank Conder Pool/estuary
Scaup - at least 2 on Glasson basin
Water Pipit elusively on Jackson
Chiffchaff by Jackson hide
Hawfinches Woodwell and Sizergh castle grounds
Bewick's Swan - two on the Lune near Glasson

Best of luck to everyone trying for a New Year's Day list. Giving it a miss for the first time for 15 or so years & concentrating on the 8 hr 10km square survey for SD66 before the weather/roads get tricky. Presumably Heysham records will feature tomorrow on people's day lists, please text them to me if you are not putting them on this or the LDBWS site. Some Twite food has been put out by the sandworks entrance

Sunday, 30 December 2007

usual fare

Heysham Obs
North wall/harbour
Ad & 2nd W Med Gull
Dunnock by Gate "38" (35Z)

c50 Pink-footed Goose S early morning
c65 PFG S later in morning

Red Nab
Twite - 6 & presumably same flock along south harbour wall
Wigeon - 75

Light-bellied Brent Goose still by Regent Road groyne
Purple Sandpiper Stone jetty
Ad Med Gull Broadway area
See Fylde site for quite a few birds in/next to the overlap area with LDBWS

Saturday, 29 December 2007

Short-lived seabird weather

Heysham Obs
Two lots of 30 mins seawatching; lunchtime and mid-afternoon. The latter half-hour, despite more promising conditions, produced zilch. No ferry at lunchtime to spice things up

Heysham North harbour wall/offshore
Kittiwake: 24 - 16 floating in on the water and 6+1+1 'in'
Little Gull: Ad gradually being blown into the bay
Red-throated Diver - one 'out'

No Meds or Purp Sands seen

Middleton IE
Teal 60, Goldeneye 5, Tufted Duck 4, Pochard 1, Mute Swan 2 but only 4 Coot have returned post-freeze & no Little Grebe


Pale-bellied Brent Goose still at the Sunny Slopes groyne with 16 Reed Bunting nearby on the Regent Road groyne. Nothing of interest on Pine Lake. Two Greenshank and Spotted Redshank in the Conder area. Lots of wildfowl again on the Warton floods - surely a case here for a HLS scheme to retain these as wet meadows?

Friday, 28 December 2007

Wet Wet Wet

Heysham Obs
South harbour/outfalls area
Purple Sandpiper x2 inner end of Heysham One outfall, below sea wall, 1145 hrs (incoming tide).
Pink-footed Goose 54 SW 1015 hrs.
Twite 4, Goldfinch 5 and 1 Meadow Pipit SHW above harbour.
Great-crested Grebe 1 in harbour.
Cormorant 1 at intake (no Shag for several days).

North harbour wall
Same Pinkfeet - different observer!
2nd W Med Gull
Single Meadow Pipit on mound
Definitely no Purp S in careful check

Ocean Edge saltmarsh
Snipe - 6 flushed by tide
Jack Snipe - 2 on tide edge

IOM ferry c1200hrs
2 x adult and one x 1st W Kittiwake but no Little Gull seen within viewing range of the north harbour wall. The Kitts made their way out of the Bay

Moth trap
One Chestnut - a very common 'hibernating' (unless its mild) species in well wooded areas but rare at Heysham


Pale-bellied brent Goose still by Regent Road groyne on incoming tide. Drake Ruddy Duck (& several Goosander) feeding next to the watersport centre in NW corner Pine Lake but again no sign of hybrid Ferruginous x Pochard which disappeared this time last winter. Ad Med Gull on field next to Lancaster football ground (pres P96?).

Thursday, 27 December 2007

Dull and dreary

Heysham Obs
IOM ferry
2 adult and 2 1st W Kittiwake and ad Little Gull in the wake but all but 1 1st W Kittiwake peeled off quickly & headed out of the Bay

North harbour wall at HT
2nd W Med Gull

Canadian-ringed juv Pale-bellied Brent Goose still Regent Road groyne-Sunny Slopes but mobile - last seen Sunny Slopes end. 7+ Reed Bunting around Battery and Regent Road groynes
Purple Sand. at the Stone Jetty - only one seen today?
Med Gull 36W Broadway and P96 back on Lancaster City Football ground!
Water Pipit Jacksons hide, Leighton Moss
Nothing at all of interest on Pine Lake but Coot with whitish undertail AND whitish ends to the flight feathers - obviously a bit of leucism - beware!

Wednesday, 26 December 2007

The importance of ferries

........especially when there is one ferry entering port and not others leaving Fleetwood or even Heysham turning the trail of gulls around before they are within visual range. This was the case with the IOM passenger ferry today and will also be the same at c1200hrs for any NYD listers targeting at least Kittiwake

Heysham Obs
IOM passenger ferry
Good numbers of gulls trailing this ferry included:
Kittiwake - 7 adult
Little Gull - adult and 2nd W
These all motored out of the Bay as soon as the ferry reached the harbour, therefore timing very important

North wall/harbour/wooden jetty
Purple Sandpiper - Three - One in the Heysham One/wooden jetty area on the incoming tide and two on the Near Naze (rocks by the heliport) from at least 1115hrs which flew towards the harbour at
Twite - mixed flock with Goldfinch - at least 11 Twite including black over white colour-ringed bird = ringed here three winters ago.
Further confirmation that there are no Shag left in the area and no reappearance of the Black Guillemot
Med Gull - Ad & 2nd W and quite probably a different 2nd W (with less black) briefly behind the IOM ferry
Red-throated Diver - one out about 1205hrs

Red Nab/Ocean Edge
Kingfisher - perhaps two again in this area
Just Common Snipe seen during the coverage of Ocean Edge saltmarsh by the tide (30ish?) plus a single Reed Bunting

Pine Lake
Male Ruddy Duck new in - hope it stays for the New Year as this species is really tricky these days with the decline of the small breeding population at Leighton Moss
Female Ferruginous Duck x Pochard hybrid in exactly the same place as yesterday along the eastern side, just north of the big car parking area
Morecambe seafront
Couldnt find the Pale-bellied Brent as I also couldn't yesterday - the posting was from information earlier in the morning, but the mobile Polish-ringed Med. Gull (P96) was on the Regent Road groyne
Lune valley
Similar number of swans to yesterday but could not see any detail because of trees

Tuesday, 25 December 2007

A mobile Christmas!

Able to do a day's birding interrupted by work (Morecambe Groyne counts) and lots of two-way texts and calls. Pre-mobiles this would have been labelled as extreme, indeed selfish, anti-social Christmas behaviour.

Heysham Obs
North harbour wall & area
Mediterranean Gull - Ad & 2nd W on the railings
Twite - 27 around
Bar-tailed Godwit - 11 Half-Moon Bay was unusual
Kingfisher - probably 2

Red Nab/outfalls/Ocean Edge
Med Gull - one ad sat on the sea

Moth trap
One Winter Moth

Pine Lake: Female Ferruginous x Pochard hybrid along the E. shore. Another odd Aythya (Tufted-type) female which may have some Ring-necked in ancestry (greyish suffused wingbar & head shape etc) but views distant & hampered by active feeding
Morecambe seafront: The new Sunny Slopes groyne is becoming a significant wader roost c/f 363 Redshank, 17 Ringed Plover, 11 Dunlin, 1670 Oystercatcher, 15 Knot, 1 Curlew (and a Kingfisher). The other major feature, other than the continued presence of the Pale-bellied Brent Goose, was 12 Reed Bunting (this is the coastal section in the middle of urban Morecambe!) by the Regent Road groyne on the rocks by the spartina. I seem to remember Jon Stagg having a similar figure a year or two ago but this is my first above the 'one-two' level. One Rock Pipit by the Battery groyne. Belgian-ringed Med Gull by the Strathmore
SD66: Quite a lot of good atlas records but nothing worthy of mention until a male Hen Harrier over Starkers Moor to the accompaniment of Bach's harpsichord Concerto in D minor (pseuds corner material?). Thrushgill was disappointing with the only finch being a single Bullfinch. No sign of the Snow Bunting yet again & presumed gone (or just displaced by a few hundred metres!)
Lune valley: At least 16 Whooper Swan still in the fields (with Mute Swan) between Melling and Hornby, viewable from the high point fo the A683

Monday, 24 December 2007

What a negative cold spell!

Reviewing the period of cold weather, now it has finally been broken, leads to a conclusion that there were no 'pluses' but a considerable number of 'minuses', leading to a pretty birdless North Lancs at the moment as regards the 'usual' scarcer odds and ends.

The cold spell apparently "got rid of " Great White Egret, all the Shag, Ringstones Snow Bunting and has been responsible for the lack of Kittiwake, Little Gull, Common Guillemot and other odds and ends associated with 'normal' winter weather. No additional species have materialised during this weather, with Pine Lake hosting the largest collection of wildfowl I have ever seen without any interesting feature (couldn't even find the Ferruginous x Pochard hybrid this afternoon), no extra Waxwings nationwide or movement by the ones in Scotland/NE England and nothing, other than a few extralimital records of species which are resident in the area, materialising from 'perfect' atlassing weather.

It can only get better - Cattle Egret would be a good start! Currently there is no chance of making 100 species on New Year's Day in the LDBWS recording area - we are missing far too many of the 10 or so species needed to reach the 100 mark. As a result, but also for a change, two of us who usually do dawn to dusk on 1/1 are going to do the fourth year of the eight hour 10km survey instead which will, of course, produce quite a few good Atlas records.

Heysham Obs
The only sighting of interest today was the usual Ad Med. Gull by the heliport just after HT.

See yesterdays late posting

Pale-bellied Brent Goose on the northern side of the Morecambe Battery groyne at HT. Med Gull P96 back on Lancaster City Football Pitch after its cold weather sojourn on Morecambe seafront (surely Morecambe FC would be better quality, especially after yesterdays bull-bashing?). One Water Pipit seen at Leighton Moss. Thorough check of Pine Lake comprised 1000+ common wildfowl!

Sunday, 23 December 2007

Saved by the Reeve

Heysham Obs
Despite a fair bit of early morning coverage, an extra day of calm frosty weather saw nothing at all doing (even Med Gulls) apart from a most unexpected Reeve accompanying a small group of Redshank at high tide on the shingle next to Ocean Edge saltmarsh. This is the first winter record from here.

A most unexpected Common Quaker in the moth trap!

Canadian-ringed Pale-bellied Brent Goose by the Battery Groyne at high tide. Belgian-ringed adult Med Gull by Morecambe Broadway. Two Water Pipit Lilian's Hide Leighton Moss. No sign of the Snow Bunting in a short late-afternoon visit to Ringstones Lane (but pair of Stonechat still). Great Grey Shrike and Green-winged Teal still just outside the LDBWS recording area at Stock's Reservoir - the former very mobile. Just the sort of record to justify the Winter Atlas has been the presence of one or two of the red-listed Marsh Tit at feeders at Botton Mill and Lower Thrushgill (Upper Hindburn) - quite a range extension for a sedentary species on recent data. No known check of nearby Thrushgill plantation c/f Crossbill etc. in the last fortnight (anyone contradict?)

Saturday, 22 December 2007

Pretty dead

Heysham Obs
Yes, enough of the frosty stuff, lets get a few more waifs and strays in the harbour area. Funny time of year this; some winter periods see Kittiwake and Little Gulls as low profile 'count fodder' but others, such as this last spell, elevate anything, whose occurrence remotely relates to periods of onshore winds, to highlight status

Today was pretty rock bottom on two north harbour wall/harbour mouth/offshore checks, with apologies to 22 Twite on a secret new feeding station (dont tell the pigeons) along with a solitary Goldfinch and the usual Czech-ringed adult Med Gull.

Predictable sightings of at least one Water Pipit at Leighton Moss otherwise usual Saturday shortage of records. Just outside the area but nearer my house than Heysham = Green-winged Teal at Stocks Reservoir along with a sighting of Great Grey Shrike

Friday, 21 December 2007

Pinks on the move

Heysham Obs
North harbour wall
2nd W Mediterranean Gull. There may have been two different 2nd W today and there were certainly two adults - the outfalls bird and the Czech-ringed north harbour wall bird. Also TWO Kingfisher. Twite (see below)

Ocean Edge saltmarsh - morning frost. This held c16 Snipe and a Reed Bunting but the only strictly coastal small finches logged today were 18 Twite near the sandworks entrance along the north harbour wall.

Harbour area
Negative news once again on any Shags and the Black Guillemot was not seen either today. No Purple Sandpipers located but these can be really elusive! Guillemot in the harbour

Vis mig
Flocks of 27 and 61 Pink-footed Geese heading south this early morning

A sequence of low and intermediate tide counts along Morecambe foreshore revealed Polish-ringed Med Gull P96 on the Battery Groyne just after HT (it has been here before in the days when it was paired to the late 5HR but has latterly spent its time on or around Lancaster Football Club pitch! Obviously frost-displaced. A Little Egret by the Stone Jetty, before being chased off north by a gull was unusual at this site in winter (c1400hrs)

Thursday, 20 December 2007

Blasts from the not too distant past

Heysham Obs
The male Black Guillemot (or at least an ad winter with similar habits) reappeared this morning and was found sitting on the wooden jetty mid-morning and then on the water in the harbour entrance at lunchtime. Last seen 4/11/07.

Purple Sandpiper on the rocks below the wooden jetty

11 or so Twite with 10 or so Goldfinch mobile between south and north harbour walls

At least one Water Rail in the Nature reserve marsh

41 Pink-footed Geese south mid -afternoon.

Definitely no Shag in the harbour at lunchtime (low tide) and no sightings of any Meds

Continuing the theme, the female Ferruginous x Pochard hybrid was on Pine Lake close inshore on the eastern side just before dusk - this bird has been very hard to find this autumn/early winter. Purple Sandpiper by the Stone jetty, then flew to the old Sandylands sewer pipe.

Wednesday, 19 December 2007

No coverage?

Heysham Obs
Nothing as yet

Brief flight-only views of the Ringstones Snow Bunting as it flew towards Loftshaw Moss on the east of Slaidburn Road at 0930hrs. Note the usual approach road through Barleybank was like a bobsleigh run this morning

Tuesday, 18 December 2007

What a struggle! find something to put on this site

Heysham Obs
Harbour/north wall
After c30 totally fruitless mins in the field, the usual Ad Med Gull was seen following the IOM ferry out of port. No Shags (despite a low tide check), no small passerines, no Purple Sands (see Elsewhere), no 2nd W Med.

Red Nab/Ocean Edge
c20 each of both Linnet and Twite on OE football pitch/saltmarsh respectively. Also 16 Snipe flushed from the saltmarsh

Ad Med Gull Heysham 2 outfall (the usual unringed bird on this side of the harbour) and 89 Shelduck on Red Nab along with the 'usual' Kingfisher.

TWO Purple Sandpiper in the region of Morecambe Stone Jetty

Monday, 17 December 2007

..........and again

Heysham Obs
Three juv Shag in the harbour, again acting as 2+1. Ad & 2nd W Med Gulls north harbour wall. One Linnet behind the sandplant and a flock of c20 Goldfinch notable there early morning only.

No reports of the GWE at Leighton Moss for the last few days and it was apparently not in the roost last night (9 Little Egret). Up to 8 Water Rails at Aldcliffe.

Sunday, 16 December 2007

Another rapid check of the harbour area

Heysham Obs
Single juv Shag in the harbour and 2nd W Med Gull on the north harbour wall railings is all that today seemed to offer. No finches on the mound and no Purple Sandpiper along the base of the north harbour wall on the skeer [lunchtime visit]

Snow Bunting seen well away from the road at lunchtime and it was certainly very elusive today. Digipic perusal appears to suggest that it is not a 1st W male but a female. Tail feather shape and structure, however, suggest a 1st winter! More on this soon. NNEW from Leighton Moss area. No sign of the Firecrest in Freeman's Wood.

Saturday, 15 December 2007

Teal influx

Heysham Obs
A high count of Teal on Middleton for a mid-winter date

Middleton IE
1 Tufted Duck, 8 Snipe, 1 Pochard, 2 Mute Swan, 8 Coot, 6 Moorhen, 61 Teal. There were also 2 Fieldfare, a scarce bird in the Obs recording area in midwinter and a reflection of the cold(ish) weather "shifting a few thrushes around" [e.g. north Cheshire work site today]

North Harbour Wall
A short whistle-stop at about 0900hrs saw at least 10, probably more, Twite and an ad Med Gull on the beach - no time to check the skeers for Purple Sandpiper or the inner harbour

Its Saturday, so, perhaps unsurprisingly, Otter at Leighton Lower Hide the only thing of interest on pagers/websites so far. A late check of Cockersands stubble on the way home from work saw: 24 Skylark, 6 Meadow Pipit, 4 Grey Partridge and 2 Reed Bunting.

Friday, 14 December 2007

Slight hint of cold weather displacement?

Heysham Obs
Having just accessed the Walney site & noted a minor thrush arrival, three rather 'tame' unringed Blackbird on the grass round the office may have been new in. More than usual Redshank (c30) and Oystercatcher (c50) were feeding over the high tide period on Ocean Edge south and west fields

Red Nab
3 Teal, displaced from a slightly frozen Middleton IE - usually rare on Red Nab?
Med Gull - adult, then flew towards Ocean Edge saltmarsh

At least two, probably three juvenile Shag by the intake
Low double-figures of Twite were mobile between the north and south harbour walls/mound

North harbour wall
Ad & 2nd W Med Gulls in residence over the tide

Firecrest with 3 mobile Goldcrest in hedges just to the south of Freeman's Wood. Pale-bellied Brent Goose by the Battery groyne. Snow Bunting still on Ringstones Lane. Please approach carefully on the bridle track so you dont flush it unnecessarily. Water Pipit Griesdale hide Leighton Moss (good week coming up for this species). Cetti's Warbler REPORTED via Leighton Moss book (but not put out anywhere else at all?) Lower Hide "in reeds" on 12th.

Thursday, 13 December 2007

Another Thursday problem

Heysham Obs
No coverage today

Snow Bunting still at the Slaidburn Road end of Ringstones Lane mid afternoon

Wednesday, 12 December 2007

Flying visit

Heysham Obs
The third "restructuring" of the Orange mobile mast in as many months has led to the office being out of mobile range, therefore not an ideal workplace at the moment. So finished the WeBS, checked the north wall, printed the LDBWS Newsletters and away.

North harbour wall/harbour
Mixed finch flock comprising approximately 19 Twite and 2 Linnet, later fragmenting and possibly gathering "some more" Linnet. At least one of the Twite was ringed with a yellow c.r.
Med Gull: Ad and 2nd W on the railings
Shag: Three juv by the waterfall area near HT - acting as 2+1.

Mottled Umber

Pale-bellied Brent Goose still by the Battery groyne. Ad Spotted Redshank still on the Strathmore groyne. Polish-ringed Med Gull still on Lancaster City Football ground

Tuesday, 11 December 2007

Belated WeBS

Heysham Obs
Most of the birding today was covering the Red Nab area pre-tide and the WeBS count, most of which was out of the recording area along Morecambe Prom.

North harbour/'waterfall' area/Heliport
Shag - Just the one juv seen in two visits either side of high tide.....but this site is at its best at low tide. Three Cormorant were also on the waterfall and one of these was noticeably smaller than the other two and perhaps accounts for the extra "possible Shag" yesterday.
Med. Gull - The usual 2nd W and Ad

No Purple Sandpiper but they have been difficult on the higher high tides
& see 'Elsewhere', quite possibly involving a NHW bird

Red Nab/Ocean Edge foreshore & saltmarsh
Snipe - 65, presumably reflecting the frozen overnight conditions on e.g. Middleton
Linnet 3
Ringed Plover 20
Dunlin c300
Grey Plover 25
Lapwing 103
Mistle Thrush 2
Wren 1

Med Gull - Probably the elusive 'other adult' on Red Nab
Wigeon 84
Kingfisher 1
Great Crested Grebe 2 off RN
Shelduck 9 'out' - one flock

Rest of the Webs was quite productive (south to north order):
Purple Sandpiper - one roosting on the new Sunny Slopes groyne (46B)
Light-bellied Brent Goose - the Canadian colour-ringed bird was by the Battery Groyne
Rock Pipit - kleinschmitii-type on the Battery groyne
Med Gull - the Belgian-ringed adult was by the 'boats' groyne
Spotted Redshank - the veteran was roosting on the Strathmore groyne
No sign of any Yellow-legged Gulls on the Teal Bay groyne or area

The male Snow Bunting was seen very briefly late afternoon at Ringstones Lane and the 'possible' location of the Shrike mentioned yesterday has been 'narrowed' down to New Barns in the middle of SD66Z

Lancashire's top Shag site

Heysham Obs
Gate 38/intake area
Late afternoon visit produced 3 juvenile Shag, 2 Cormorant and what was probably an adult Shag seen VERY briefly before being flushed by an angler out of the harbour. All associated with the 'waterfall'

North harbour wall/mound
The most surprising record was an increase of the 36V Wren population to 3 individuals! 9 Twite in the morning were welcome. Late afternoon saw a single Purple Sandpiper and the adult Mediterranean Gull along the north wall.
Also in 36V 4 Mistle Thrush on mound near feeding station.

The male Snow Bunting was seen at Ringstones Lane in the afternoon and we have a secondhand report of a "shrike" in nearby SD66Z sometime in the last few days at least. Great White Egret at Leighton Moss and three Scaup still on Glasson Marina

Sunday, 9 December 2007

A bird-filled 'eye'

Heysham Obs
In contrast to yesterday, the weather was positively balmy, even on the fells. There was also quite a bit around - especially along the north harbour wall:

Purple Sandpiper - THREE birds in the morning, one with plain lesser and median coverts and this remained during the afternoon with one of the other two long-staying birds
Med Gull - the ad and regular 2nd W were joined by another 2nd winter (with reduced black tips to the primaries) late afternoon
Red-throated Diver - one materialised very close inshore late afternoon, spending very little time on the surface!
Shag - juvenile on the wooden jetty in the morning, it or another flew into the harbour late afternoon.

Middleton IE WeBS
The main feature was a significant flock of c30 Meadow Pipit along with 2 Reed Bunting. 550 Pink-footed Geese also flew NE during the early morning. On/around the ponds: 2 Mute Swan, 6 Coot, 3 Moorhen, 9 Mallard, 11 Tufted Duck, 2 Goldeneye, 22 teal, 23 Snipe, 1 Water Rail, 2 Grey Heron.


Snow Bunting Ringstones this afternoon - thanks Mark and Margaret

Great White Egret still at Leighton Moss. The male Snow Bunting was at Ringstones Lane until about 1100hrs whence it started calling and was joined briefly by TWO Snow Bunting, which flew in from the SE, before all three flew off to the west. However, the original bird returned. 4 Crossbill in Thrushgill plantation mid-morning which flew towards the western end. Ad Ring-billed Gull (with pale iris etc. seen) reported last Thursday with 500 mobile field-feeding gulls in the Clapham station area. c10 Snow Bunting on Ingleborough last Friday.

Saturday, 8 December 2007

Field trip weather at its worst

Heysham Obs
This was fine for early morning coverage south of the harbour (thanks Malcolm) but not a lot of use for the "from 1000hrs" local RSPB/LDBWS field trip. There definitely appear to be TWO coastal Kingfisher - one in the Half Moon bay/NHW area and the other OE/Red Nab/outfalls. Yet another addition to 36V!

North harbour wall
NO Meds or Purple Sandpipers! Kingfisher on the Near Naze, then along the seawall by the sandplant entrance. Great-crested Grebe close inshore and single Meadow Pipit still on the mound

Highlight for the RSPB trip was a juvenile Shag seen from the scenic "Gate 38" area which then swam out into the harbour and disappeared. No sign of the Guillemot. A 1st W Kittiwake was also present early morning only

Ocean Edge/Red Nab
Mute Swan on the mudflats, single Kingfisher, 90 Wigeon and a high count of 5 Red-breasted Merganser on Red Nab

The Ringstones Lane male Snow Bunting was sat on top of a 'right to roam' post at c0900hrs! Great White Egret seen en route to the usual roost at Leighton Moss late afternoon (from Lilian's Hide). Huge numbers of wildfowl on Pine Lake in late afternoon MAY have included the female Ferruginous x Pochard hybrid but it was only seen briefly and distantly in terrible light

Friday, 7 December 2007

Adventurous Treecreeper

Heysham Obs
The first 'mid' winter Treecreeper record for the Obs was found today in the Red Nab bushes during a squall, accompanying Long-tailed Tits - yes the observer was sheltering!

North harbour wall
The waif and stray tally has started to increase:
Shag: Yesterdays bird was by the heliport, then flew towards the harbour where it was found feeding under the waterfall late afternoon [also at least one Cormorant around here but they tend to be easily spooked]. A second juv was blown over the car on the end of the north harbour wall (no idea where from) and did a circuit of the harbour looking for somewhere to land before slowly flying out towards the wooden jetty
Guillemot: One in the intake area (by the waterfall/platforms) at least

Med Gull: ad on the beach late afternoon

A short seawatch in WNW winds 0935-1005 produced 3 Kittiwake out together and a Guillemot out

Red Nab/Ocean Edge
Wigeon - 61
Ringed Plover - 12
Red-breasted merganser 6 RN

Knot - 6,500

6 Kittiwake ahead of a squall Morecambe Stone Jetty. Great White Egret Leighton Moss, also 1+ Water Pipit. Ringtail Hen Harrier Foulshaw Moss. Great Blue Heron (at last!) on the Scillies.

Thursday, 6 December 2007

Useless weather

Heysham Obs
It was virtually flat calm during the morning high tide period with not a 'white horse' in sight! Livened up a bit later.

North harbour wall
Shag - a visit at 1300hrs coincided with the star arrival of the day watched approaching from across the Bay, landing on the sea by the locked gate and later feeding in the harbour mouth - a juv. Note two Cormorant feeding=spending all but the odd second under the water by the 'Shag waterfall' (careful!).
Purple Sandpiper - one below the north harbour wall mid afternoon
Med. Gull - ad in the harbour and 2nd W intermittently patrolling
Linnet - 6 on the sandplant edge - unusual this late in the year.

Nothing worthy of mention as yet.

Wednesday, 5 December 2007

Little time, but not windy enough for seabirds at this time of year?

Heysham Obs
North harbour wall
Brief visits during the morning and afternoon produced:

Purple Sandpiper - at least one, with morning sighting at the Near Naze (46A) and afternoon sighting beyond the locked gate (36V)
Med Gull - Just the 2nd W during the morning visit
Kittiwake - adult out in the afternoon

Stage 2 outfall
Just Black-headed Gulls during a morning scan from O. Edge

Guillemot off the Stone jetty. Ringtail Hen Harrier and Great White Egret (& 9 Little Egret) Leighton Moss. Two Brambling at garden feeder near Thrushgill. NNEW on Ringstones lane Snow Bunting (see prev. postings)

Tuesday, 4 December 2007


Nothing doing today, it seems. First blank for a bit and only the third in twelve months. Thanks to all for what has been good coverage this year.

Purple Sandpiper off the end of the Stone Jetty early morning

Monday, 3 December 2007

wet and the wrong kind of wind

Heysham Obs
......a north-westerly (despite Metcheck to the left - must have backed since I left).

North harbour wall
A brief visit at lunchtime saw Ad & 2nd W Med Gulls patrolling and a 1st W Kittiwake heading out close inshore

Snow Bunting still on millet at Ringstones Lane/Slaidburn Road junction early pm (thanks Gavin). Purple Sandpiper still off the end of the Stone Jetty early morning. The "Warton flood" season has started with over 600 Black-tailed Godwits as well as other wildfowl/waders. View from Crag road. No sign of Ferruginous x Pochard hybrid on Pine Lake.

Sunday, 2 December 2007

wet and no wind

Heysham Obs
As predicted, we were just too north of the wild and woolly weather and coverage comprised:

North harbour wall
Ad & 2nd W Med Gulls (Mark)

Middleton IE
Female Pochard, 2 Little Grebe, 34 Teal, 3 Tufted Duck, 28 Snipe, 2 Mute Swan, 2 Reed Bunting, 6 Mallard, 5 Coot, 7 Moorhen (Malcolm)

Male Snow Bunting still on the millet put out at the junction of Ringstone Lane and Slaidburn Road at at least 1135hrs. Male Snow Bunting also still at Fluke Hall ramp morning and late afternoon at least. Great White Egret still Leighton Moss.

Saturday, 1 December 2007

Whooper Swan added to the list

Distant Whooper Swan through spray and rain (photo courtesy of Blurred Guides!! aka PJM) (lyrics by Dan Haywood and Jean Roberts)
Heysham Obs
North Harbour Wall
Highlight of the day was an adult Whooper Swan which was seen on the sea in both 36V and 46A as observed from the North Harbour Wall.
A juvenile Shag spent a short time in the harbour mouth.
2 Kittiwakes flew out of the Bay, far offshore.
The usual 2 Mediterranean Gulls were seen
Two flocks of Kittiwake off JB Point late afternoon. Great White Egret Leighton Moss and best of all a Snow Bunting by the ramp at Fluke Hall (for the second day - this is just in the LDBWS recording area). NNEW on the Tatham Fells bird.