Sunday, 21 January 2007

WeBS day

Heysham Obs
Coverage was reasonably good today although the fare was a little disappointing as the sea was rough but the wind direction just a tiny fraction north of west......and not really strong enough. The tide was high enough, with the surge, to cover Red Nab and Ocean Edge saltmarsh. Thanks to Mark Prestwood and Ian Hartley for most of the records.

Little Gull
Just 5 seen (2 1st W and 3 adults), mainly around the outfalls
24 in the harbour and another 10 on the outfalls (no ferries watched in today)
At least 15 in the harbour and one on the wooden jetty
Med Gull
Both the Czech adult and the 1st W were in the melee feeding on the "remains" after the angling fest on the north harbour wall
Jack Snipe (& 12 Snipe)
.......TWO forced off Ocean Edge saltmarsh by the tide (please ask at reception to traverse this property)
One in the harbour mouth in the morning [& one also seen on the Kent Estuary]
"4 or 5" on the mound

Ringing recovery (details received this morning)
Black-headed Gull
EL54566 & Darvic 2C66
Ringed as Nestling 12/6/05 Cokes Pit, Somerfield Keynes, Glos
Read 15/7/05-2/8/05 Ashton Keynes, Glos (5 reported sightings)
Read 7/5/06 Cerney Wick, Glos 5 km ENE
Read 2/8/06 & 4/8/06 Heysham PS Stage 2 outfall, Lancs 271km NNW 418 days

Research suggests this is an unprecedented recovery with respect to Lancashire. It may have had something to do with the again unprecedented midsummer influx of up to 300 1st S birds (usually barely double figures at this time) and it is unfortunate, if this was the case, the ring was not noticed earlier. As it is, the finding dates could have indicated a more recent arrival accompanying post-breeding season dispersal (which also includes some non-breeding immatures). Lancashire ringing recoveries usually involve two main origins - colonies within 50km or so (notably Bardon Reservoir, nr Skipton) or from countries bordering the Baltic Sea

The Morecambe section of the WeBS saw a 2nd W Little Gull dip-feeding by the Battery groyne, Ad Med Gull (probably 36W but legs not seen) on the sea by the Broadway, Spotted Redshank on the "bend and boats groyne" just south of Broadway and 13 Scaup offshore by the golf course. A singler male Eider was on the Stone Jetty groyne and 18 Goldeneye by the lifeboat station was a little unexpected in these sewage-outfall-free times!

The Lune WeBS saw 9 Little Egrets Aldcliffe to Conder, a Razorbill on one of the wildfowlers pools at Aldcliffe, 2 Greenshank and a Spotted Redshank at Conder. If you are puzzled why Greenshank are being flagged, this is the first time for years and years there has been more than one wintering bird in the area and a majority of the last 15 years have been blanks.

A flock of 10 Twite seen at Hest Bank along with corpses of Razorbill, Gannet and Guillemot