Thursday, 18 January 2007

Good job the high tide was not early afternoon!

Heysham Obs

Redshank and Turnstone on the heliport this morning before the storm. Thanks Cliff

Although the wind did not quite reach the strength of the few seconds in the 1300hrs squall yesterday, during the afternoon it was consistently the strongest wind I've experienced, possibly, on reflection, bar the 'west end pier' storm in 1977.

The only time it was possible to do any proper birding was during the mid-morning just before high tide. Even three hours after the tide, the increasing wind meant that end of the north wall was not safe, not the least the danger of the car being blown into the harbour. Therefore attempts to "pull back" Blue Fulmar, seen earlier off Cleveleys, were very short-lived!

.............I was searching for the right words to describe birding attempts in early-mid-afternoon but the usually cheery and optimistic Martin Cade summed it up in a terse entry on the Portland Bird Observatory website:

"A morning (early afternoon in Heysham's case) of raging wind and near-opaque mixture of seaspray and horizontal rain/drizzle produced no worthwhile sightings at all"

Little Gull: c55 between Red Nab and Half-moon Bay, possibly more sat on the rougher sections of sea. About 5 were attempting to fly out of the Bay - the rest were either sat on the sea, riding the seawall updraught (especially by the outfalls) or in the inner harbour.

Shag: 14 together by the waterfall and two on the harbour wall by the sandplant

Razorbill: 1st W in harbour mouth. Corpse (not fresh) Red Nab.

Kittiwake: c30 around harbour/outfalls & 14 out

Med: 1st W along the north wall

A few scattered Little Gulls; Spotted Redshank on the Stone jetty groyne, at least one female Scaup seen whilst travelling at 30mph on the sea off Bare golf course.