Thursday, 17 May 2007

Mutually-exclusive seabirds!

..........but not the black seaduck that we all wanted. A feature of today was that seawatching from Knott End, Heysham and JB Point all recorded different birds from each other! There is no way that the two Heysham observers would have missed flocks of 4+2 dark-morph Arctic Skuas passing between 1030-1130 and subsequently recorded at flying into the Bay at JBP (then 4 up the Kent estuary/2 over Leighton Moss). This has happened before and one common denominator could be the faster flowing sea on the increasingly 'spring' tides could possibly encourage these skuas to remain sitting on the sea 'going with the significant flow' in the right direction. They would be too far offshore to be picked up in this mode off Heysham. Perhaps similarly, the birds which were picked up in flight off Heysham were intent on gaining height and overlanding before reaching the inner Bay, hence unrecorded at JBP! Any thoughts when this posting is reproduced on the LDBWS site later tonight?

Heysham Obs
Sea/vis 0900-1200
Arctic Skua - lm and dm about 300m behind each other heading NE about 0930. 2 lm in close inshore together at c1035. One very distant pale morph skua at 0950 was presumably Arctic but looked a bit 'lightweight'
Bonxie - one very distantly in
Kittiwake - a rarity this spring was a flock of 33 in at c1030hrs
Linnet - 2 late birds north
Swallow - c30 north
Whimbrel - flock of 12 north

No terns seen!

Shag - 2 juvs on wooden jetty after feeding along NHW

Setaceous Hebrew Character new for the year

Grey Seal off NHW

JBP seabirds: 1+4+2 Arctic Skua 'in' - ALL dark morph! See above for comment. Osprey seen from JBP heading out towards Heysham but not 'picked up' there (despite being alerted) & presumably headed inland over Morecambe. Pair Garganey still on Barrow Scout. Two Spoonbill still at Leighton Mos but a bit elusive. No sign of the escaped Night Heron at Lancaster Uni during brief check.