Wednesday, 17 January 2007

More wind, more Little Gulls

Heysham Obs

Windswept Knot and Oystercatcher on the heliport. Thanks Cliff

A seawatching session for 30 minutes 1000-1030 in fresh/strong winds saw: 16 Little Gull (all ads) & 21 Kittiwake heading out of the Bay, a Shag count of 15 in the harbour, about 25 Kittiwake inshore plus another 30 or so behind a freight ferry and 8 Little Gull on Heysham 2 outfall.

Around 1245hrs, the office, usually sheltered from W winds, seemed to be receiving an unusually strong blast of wind & hailstones. This prompted a bit of 'lunchtime' seawatching and the wind on the north harbour wall, in conjunction with a squall, at 1300hrs was the strongest I can remember in 30 years of seawatching. Most of the birds were in 'sit it out' mode and the Little Gull total comprised 27 sitting on the sea, 5 trying to fly 'out', 16 in the harbour (several trying to fly out of it) plus the same (?) 8 on Heysham 2 outfall. The only 1st W birds were 5 on Heysham 2 outfall. The Kittiwake total inshore had increased to 50, some presumably a result of the earlier IOM passenger ferry. Whilst checking the harbour two small passerines were picked up hugging the water flying towards the south wall - these transpired to be Twite! They had been disturbed off the mound by a brave lunchtime walker who must have been immune to sand in the eyes. The 1st W Med Gull was enjoying the updraught along the north harbour wall.

A late afternoon check saw reduced numbers of Little Gull and Kittiwake with many of both species in the harbour.

Ad Little Gull Conder Pool plus female Scaup. 5 Bewick's and two Whooper Swan on Jeremy Lane. Ad Med Gull (perhaps P96) on Lancaster City Football pitch. Just one adult Little Gull off the SJ during a brief lunchtime seawatch