Wednesday, 16 May 2007

A tale of two matching two-hour vigils!

Heysham Obs & other seawatching sites
.........both producing a single Arctic Skua and a few Swallows.............but there the similarity ends - one was 'science', the other was pure desperation as the Black Scoter failed to emerge from the depths of the inner Bay (see below)

Sea: Heysham north wall 0730-0930
Arctic Skua - light morph in - already flying quite high - at 0828hrs. DM in around lunchtime
Swallow - a substantial passage in a clear slot between the rain - 291 NE, mainly 0825-0855hrs. This movement included 3 Sand and 4 House Martins

3 juv Shag
2 Common and 11 Arctic Tern around the outfalls

JBP seabird observations when Heysham was not covered
Arctic Skua: 2 dark morph in together about 1130hrs and a light morph in at c1410hrs - all seen flying into the Bay from long range and all flying up the Kent Estuary
Guillemot - one seen over the tide

Stone jetty c1530-1730
Arctic Skua - one flew out at long range before presumably the same headed in at about 1640hrs and was last seen gaining height flying in the direction of the Kent Estuary. Conditions were seemingly not very suitable for overlanding with rain and low cloud. This individual supports the impression that migrating skuas do not really care whether there is water or mud beneath them and low tide mud/seawatching could be productive from JBP or the slagtips! In this respect many birds have been seen entering the Bay from Heysham this spring at or near low tide.

A drake Black Scoter was finally identified as it was found on the railway line near the Eric Morecambe Hide and taken to a vet, before being released whilst there was still some tidal water off JBP. Great disappointment when this bird did not float out past the Stone Jetty.
Thanks to observers for prompt release of the news once the identity was determined. NNEW on the escaped Night Heron but the ring is of identical design to a Spoonbill in captivity at Dalton-in-Furness wildlife park. Two Spoonbill stll at Leighton Moss and the pair of Garganey still on Barrow Scout