Monday, 2 July 2007

It turned round again and went south!

Heysham Obs
"It" being a Caspian Tern seen heading into the Bay then independently located on the beach at Knott End. It unfortunately decided to fly back south just after 1500hrs, so wait and hope (as opposed to go and see it) was the wrong move!

Wooden jetty/offshore
Quick visits by people to see the Black Guillemots were the order of the day and all seemed successful, Justin describing them as "mutually preening etc. on the wooden jetty". A (or is it now finally 'the') juvenile Shag was on the wooden jetty in the morning. Three Gannet were seen heading out from the Stone Jetty.

Still very disappointing numbers of small gulls for this time of year and this is surely related to the flooded fields which regularly causes a reduction in numbers during the winter months. I cannot imagine it is due to flying ants, the usual mid/late summer explanation for low numbers! Not helped by Heysham One being on an 'outage'.

The roost contained: 1015 Oystercatcher, 35 Curlew with two associating Common Sandpiper

10 minutes sunshine and 17.5 degrees produced 3 male Red-veined Darter and about 10 Black-tailed Skimmer on the model boat pond. The sun came out properly yet again too late in the day for dragonflies!

Two Avocets were feeding on the upper mudflats next to Glasson Marsh in the early evening [none left at Leighton, apparently]. The Lune floodwater looks pretty bad news for all the 2nd brood Sand Martins based on evidence along the Claughton-Caton section.

Displaced Sand Martins

Heysham Obs
Wooden jetty/sea
The pair of Black Guillemot were showing well early morning at least. The only other sighting reported from there was a single Gannet!

Middleton IE
A single Common Sandpiper was the first of the 'autumn'. More unusual were at least 5 Sand Martin flying around the model boatpond with other hirundines/swifts. This is very early for a species which currently breeds nowhere near (see under Elsewhere for possible reasons).

Virtual complete lack of reports on the local websites and nothing worth mentioning. The evening return journey up the Lune valley via a lot of standing water also saw the river rather too high for most Sand Martin burrows. THE crucial birder contacted was neither in, nor able to receive the answerphone message in time, and this cost 'everyone' another tick (yesterday) in the form of a not so moribund Yellow-nosed Albatross (the previous occasion was when we were doing survey work none to far from a Siberian Rubythroat in Sunderland, as described in an article by Brian Unwin). How about all birders changing their recorded message to include "If you are ringing about a rare bird, please contact RBA at xxx or whatever"?