Wednesday, 4 July 2007

Inshore Manx and Black Guillemot puzzle

Heysham Obs
We have the regular Thursday problem tomorrow due to work-related absences - please report any sightings to the Nature reserve office/letterbox. Black Guillemot updates especially welcome. Thanks.

Wooden jetty/harbour mouth
A stiffer westerly than perhaps expected led to quite choppy sea conditions in the harbour entrance area and morning birders failed to see the Black Guillemots. At 1400hrs, a Black Guillemot flew in from the 'right' = Stone jetty direction but only picked up whilst 'straight out'. It remained in the harbour entrance but further offshore than usual. Time will tell whether this means one of the pair had fallen victim to e.g. monofilament nets or simply moved on or................. Without being absolutely certain, the behaviour of todays bird was suggestive of it being the male.

One the first lowish tide visit for some time, two juvenile Shag were present on the lower tier of the platform next to the Power Station intake

Two short spells of seawatching produced 2 Gannet, 44 Manx Shearwater (in three 'lots', including a loose flock of 38 in early afternoon), 2 Sandwich Tern.

Outfalls area
Eight Whimbrel were seen and a 1st summer Kittiwake in heavy moult appeared in early afternoon on the inner end of Heysham 2.

The small gulls were virtually absent today and the anglers were also moaning about zero fish! It was as though both outfalls were not producing the goods, yet the intake pipe had a good gull (and two Shag) attendance. Hopefully the outage has not included an all-excluding screen reducing cooked invertebrates to zero? Will investigate.

Peppered Moth was new for the year in a very small catch for early July.

The Conder Pool Little Ringed Plover are still top billing as regards receipt of the oxygen of publicity! In other words, nothing much of interest via the local info. sources (including a perusal of the 'Leighton Moss book'). There seems a possibility that there may still be a Spoonbill presence at Leighton Moss but all a little uncertain due to difficulty observing the favoured area