Tuesday, 8 May 2007

More activity on the sea than yesterday but........

Heysham Obs
....................a stiff westerly wind should have produced a lot more Gannet, Fulmar etc. but their usual point of origin in these conditions required negotiation of the line of wind turbines. It does seem that especially the "usual" spring sizeable Gannet influxes along the Kent channel line are being prevented by the wind turbines. Seabird coverage by no means as thorough as yesterday but did cover the high tide period a little more comprehensively.

Seawatching from the north harbour wall: 0815-0845, 0940-1030, 1200-1300, 1500-1800
Pomarine Skua - ad light morph flew into the Bay at about the yellow buoy range at c0955 - interestingly only appeared to have one tail spoon. It was beginning to gain height as it passed Heysham N Wall.
Arctic Skua - TWELVE in total seen from Heysham north wall or Jenny B. Point or both [three early morning, nine afternoon/early evening]. Most flew inland or up the Kent channel on reaching the inner bay and the movement, especially during the afternoon was rapid with one light morph tracked from Knott End via Heysham to JBP whence it flew high & overland 1505-1525hrs. Two of the early morning birds and a late afternoon individual were gaining height as they passed Heysham N Wall relatively close inshore
Skua spp. - one blogging in the mouth of the Bay 1729-1735 was probably an Arctic and perhaps the bird behaving similarly at 1635 (light poor by this stage)
Arctic Tern - Rather atypical in these weather conditions was a flock of 47 which appeared to descend out of the sky on to the outfalls before rising equally sharply and heading inland over Heysham harbour. The departure "dragged" the 16 or so 'blogging' on the outfalls up into the air but they quickly returned to their feeding mode
Red-throated Diver - 1
Guillemot - 2
Manx Shearwater - 7 (including flock of 3)
Fulmar - 1
Gannet - 4
Swan spp. Surely a flock of 5 heading NW across the mouth of the Bay at 1703hrs was Mute at this time of year? Were there any Whoopers left around Martin Mere?

Med Gull - 1st summer around the outfalls
Kittiwake - adult Red Nab area
Shag - 3 juvs on the wooden jetty - the pattern seems to be 2 regularly at all stages of the tide joined by 1-3 others over the high tide period
Arctic Tern - 16 feeding on the seaward end of Stage one outfall (see above)

A bizarre moth trap catch comprised a single Sallow Kitten - new for the year and not annual and a micro colloquially known as Parsnip Moth. Nothing else!

The only migrants of interest were the skuas at JBP, continuing the theme of recent days. An Osprey has been reported from Arkholme 'recently'.