Tuesday, 29 May 2007

Zero to force 4 in 30 seconds!

Heysham Obs
Sea/inshore heliport area
The two hour vigil at the heliport saw the highlight as one of the fastest increases in wind speed I have ever seen without an obvious reason (e.g. squall). Alerted by distant windfarms starting to 'work', at 0942hrs the previously calm water rippled across the Bay and the wind (from the north-west) suddenly increased to about force 4 before settling to cF3 for the rest of the day. Not many birds:

Common Scoter - distant flock of 50-60
Gannet - even more distant 2 out and across
No migratory flocks of small waders seen (c/f Stone Jetty)

Rock Pipit - not particularly good views but enough to see that it was at the dark end of petrosus and perhaps kleinschmittii (not littoralis). It frequented ths mound and adjoining seawall but unfortunately I did not have time to study it. It did not, however, show any sign of display flight or other than sseeep calls. Cannot find any precedent for this record, at least in recent times
Shag - at least one juv

Little Stint on the Stone Jetty groyne at lunchtime with a few Dunlin and Ringed Plover