Thursday, 31 January 2008

Plenty of Little Gulls but delayed ferries

Heysham Obs
A not unusual combination once or twice a winter during gale or near-gale force onshore winds. The Ben My Chree struggled in just in time to avoid a 'white-out' & extra-strong gusts at c1415hrs

IOM ferry followers
Difficult to watch to put it mildly
Fulmar - 1
Kittiwake - c35 with at least 10 1st W
Little Gull - one adult

North harbour wall
Little Gull - 23 out 1150-1220, 22 of these a long straggling "flock" covering c1/2 mile of sea, followed by a single right along the seawall. All Ad or 2nd W. At least another 9 out 1400-1600hrs
Kittiwake - 2 out plus an adult patrolling the wall with the 2nd W Med. At least 18 out 1400-1600hrs
Med Gull - 2nd W patrolling the north wall
Pink-footed Goose - 1 'out'

Stage 2 outfall
2 adult Little Gull and an adult Kittiwake at 1225hrs. At 1430hrs, just after a major squall, there were 8 adult Little Gull and 2 Kittiwake

Not much 'posted' evidence of any punters on the prowl today! Ad Spotted Redshank with Redshank amongst the boats just south of the Strathmore Hotel at 1125hrs. Purple Sandpiper Morecambe Stone jetty.

Wednesday, 30 January 2008

Treecreeper seen again

The usual 2nd W Med Gull is now showing a more adult base colouration on the bill. It was quite 'washed out orange' as recently as mid-December. Thanks Mark.

Heysham Obs
North harbour wall

2nd W Med Gull along wall
15 Twite - mound
3 Linnet - mound
Mistle Thrush - mound
Red nab area
Long-tailed Tit flock accompanied by Treecreeper

c150 Pink-footed Geese NNW 1005ish
The only new sighting was a 1st W Med Gull on Glasson basin.

Tuesday, 29 January 2008

Routine Fare

Heysham Obs
North wall/harbour/incoming ferry 1145-1220
Med Gull - Ad behind ferry, 2nd W 'all over the place'!
Twite - 16 on the mound/sandworks area
Kittiwake - 8 adult behind the IOM ferry

Vis mig
c225 Pink-footed Geese NNW at 0900hrs

South of the harbour
Just a Pink-footed Goose grazing on OE saltmarsh of note

No recent definite sightings of the Czech-ringed adult Med Gull

Two Purple Sandpiper Morecambe Stone Jetty this afternoon by the wooden slipway

Monday, 28 January 2008

VERY brief visit - PF Goose passage missed

.........any records of goose flocks flying over today very welcome, please. JC at the Stone Jetty just after midday had 'a lot' crossing the Bay at extreme range for his location, but just to the south of Heysham. c5044 flew west over East Lancashire during the day and at least one c150 flock passed over south Lancaster/Torrisholme

North harbour wall 1145-1200hrs
Twite - 15 by sandworks entrance plus 2 Linnet
Med. Gull - 2nd W patrolling, ad behind IOM passenger ferry but returned out of the Bay before reaching the wooden jetty
Kittiwake - c28 behind the IOM ferry but all had returned out of the Bay well before red no 8 buoy!
Meadow Pipit - one by the sandworks entrance

Yet another Black Redstart - the third this year & hopefully more obliging than the other two have been so far. Stock Car track at Warton where there was one two years ago. Purple Sandpiper Stone jetty by wooden jetty lunchtime. Juv Glaucous Gull "visible from LDBWS area" e.g. the Fluke Hall 'ramp' just east of Cocker's Dyke between Fluke Hall and Knott End

Sunday, 27 January 2008

1st W Little Gull new in

Heysham Obs
North harbour wall
Kittiwake - Ad & 1st W behind Moondance freight ferry
Med Gull - 2nd W patrolling

Outfalls area
Pink-footed Goose - c225 N over the Bay 1207hrs
Little Gull - 1st W Heysham 2 outfall 1230-1245ish only
Raven - two on the Power Station perimeter fence

Two Ad Med Gulls
Golden Ball area of Lune - one of which was different from one of the two along the nearby A683 Heysham bypass yesterday. Polish-ringed Ad Med Gull P96 back on Lancaster City football ground. No sign of any corvids along Mewith Lane in New House Farm area late morning - big cycling event! Ad Med Lune Estuary along with 1st W Little Gull off Cockersands. Barnacle Goose on Aldcliffe Marsh with Canada Geese

Saturday, 26 January 2008

A few bits and bobs but no proper seabird movement

Heysham Obs
The north harbour wall has been expensive recently - a double puncture the other week was followed by running over Mark P's carbon fibre tripod leg today. Fortunately you CAN buy the individual sections. Single Raven over south end of PS non-operational land - first reported sighting this year (but see tomorrow)

North harbour wall
Swan spp - one out
Wigeon - flock of 5 out (rare on seawatches)
Pink-footed Goose - one sat on the sea by the wooden jetty
Med. Gull - 2nd winter patrolling & Ad very briefly behind a freight ferry
Kittiwake - 1-2 ads behind freight ferry

Little Gull - Two adult on Heysham 2 and another adult following a ferry in
Kittiwake - one following a(nother) ferry in
Ringed Plover - 27 on shore by Ocean Edge saltmarsh

Middleton IE
12 Teal, 8 Tufted Duck, 4 Goldeneye, 4 Mallard, 2 Pochard, 6 Coot, 1 Little Grebe, 2 Snipe, 4 Bullfinch, 2 Mute Swan

'Good' Nordic Jackdaw by New House Farm in SD66Z on the Tatham to Keasden road plus another 'showing faint characters' [c60 Jackdaw]SD68935 67825. This one is therefore in the LDBWS recording area but Mike Watson saw 5 to the east of here outside the LDBWS area heading towards Austwick. See Links. Pale-bellied Brent Goose Sunny Slopes groyne area. Ad Med & Spotted Redshank Morecambe Stone Jetty. Ad Med Skerton Weir. 2 Ad Med along the A683 between the Overton roundabout and Heysham.

Friday, 25 January 2008

Harbour logistics!

Heysham Obs
.........led to the eagerly (?) awaited IOM passenger ferry mooring up whilst a freight ferry got 'out of the way'. This was out of viewing range of any following birds and nothing was observed today in the 30 mins or so up to midday other than:

Med Gull: 2nd W patrolling the north wall
Shelduck - 1 'out'

Pale-bellied Brent Goose sheltering in the lee of the Sunny Slopes Groyne at HT. Barnacle Goose of unknown origin with Canada Geese on Heaton Marsh. 13-14 Whooper Swans visible distantly from the A683 layby just south of Melling, Lune valley.

Thursday, 24 January 2008

Rough seas and spray hamper viewing

Heysham Obs
The sea was crashing over the tower at the Near Naze at lunchtime in fairly marginal conditions for ferry traffic. The end of the harbour wall was a no-go area, impeding observations of the ferry before reaching the harbour and also searches of the outer harbour.

North harbour wall 1145-1215hrs
Kittiwake - flock of 41 headed into the Bay, perhaps representing most of the birds which had been behind the slowly moving passenger ferry. Just three were seen remaining behind the ferry when it turned into the harbour.
Fulmar - one into the Bay just prior to the Kittiwakes
Med Gull - 2nd W cruising along the north wall, ad later in the afternoon doing the same
Cormorant - a highish count of 38 on the wooden jetty but still no Shag records this year

Middleton IE
Female Pochard, 8 Tufted, 4 Goldeneye, 8 Coot, 2 Mute Swan, 6 Mallard, one Little Grebe (IOY)

Female Scaup, Purple Sandpiper and Spotted Redshank Stone jetty area. A few Kittiwakes around the Stone Jetty early afternoon, perhaps some of the presumed 'ferry birds' seen flying into the Bay from Heysham as there was definitely no evidence of passage flocks or storm-driven birds in the very clear conditions. European White-fronted Goose still at Catshaw Fell edge with the Greylag flock

Wednesday, 23 January 2008

More jam on it from the north harbour wall!

Heysham Obs
Its been a good week! Whilst scanning the Cormorants and soaring gulls at the end of the wooden jetty, waiting for the passenger ferry, a passerine appeared in the scope, flying 'in-off' along the length of the jetty before swinging south along the seawall towards Red Nab. It clearly had "white sections" in the 'middle' of each wing & pale underparts and the rest of the jizz, flight, size etc. equated with Snow Bunting! Fortunately two other observers were able to get on to the bird.

IOM passenger ferry/north harbour wall
c30 Kittiwake (c8 1st W), at least two continued into the Bay & the rest flew out again
2nd W Med Gull joined the throng having earlier been patrolling the north wall

Red Nab/OE foreshore
Just Ad Med Gull Red Nab and 17 Ringed Plover on the shingle next to OE saltmarsh. Fairly thorough check for the Snow Bunting Red Nab/Ocean Edge foreshore but plenty of habitat between there & Sunderland Point!

Female Black Redstart Lancaster rubbish tip on the rubble mound at the north-east end early/mid afternoon - visible from across the Lune on Lancaster Quay. Could not be found late afternoon but lots of nooks and crannies! Pale-bellied Brent Jenny Brown's Point at high tide, presumably not the Sandylands bird but an incoming 'float in' would take the bird towards JBP if it ended up in the tide race (it did this in reverse on one occasion - off Heysham north wall on a dropping tide). Not possible to see whether it was ringed. Single Purple Sandpiper Morecambe Stone Jetty early morning & the elusive veteran Spotted Redshank in the high tide roost there pm.

Tuesday, 22 January 2008

Surprisingly good ferry following

Heysham Obs
*Might be some action on the sea for Friday or Saturday morning seawatchers....with patience! Perhaps best to include watching the lunchtime ferry on Friday.

IOM passenger ferry/north harbour wall
A very quick visit coinciding with the ferry. Considering a freight ferry was on its way out and it was calm, there were a lot of birds within visible range, albeit many heading out again to trail the freight ferry. Two birdwatchers leaving the site as the passenger ferry was approaching port might have been better waiting a few minutes longer as there is very little action other than behind incoming ferries at the moment

IOM ferry followers
Kittiwake - 23 (3 1st W)
Little Gull - one ad - peeled off & flew out very early
Med. Gull - large adult, presumably the usual south of the harbour bird

North harbour wall/harbour
Ad Med in the harbour and 2nd W Med patrolling the north wall

No time to check for Purps/offshore

Purple Sandpiper at the Stone Jetty morning but not lunchtime. 2 Scaup Glasson marina, Spotted Redshank & Greenshank Conder area.

Monday, 21 January 2008

Pomarine skua surprise

Heysham Obs
A routine Kittiwake check in the turbulence behind the IOM passenger ferry as it negotiates the right angle turn into the harbour was interrupted by a juvenile Pom. Skua flying 'out' just beyond the turbulence. This was observed until it disappeared behind the end of the wooden jetty, offering lateral views as it passed the middle gap and then tail-end views as it passed the inner gap. The blunt central tail projections were surprisingly obvious. The downside was that it didnt count for SD36V! As regards the immediate origin of this bird, there is quite a history of birds following the ferry into the Bay, then overtaking it as it slows down and flying further into the Bay before turning round. The timing suggests this was the most likely explanation for its presence, especially as it was too murky to observe what was going on behind the ferry until it had almost reached port.

North harbour wall
Juv Pomarine Skua out (1215-1218hrs)
Kittiwake - 13 behind the IOM ferry (4 x 1st W)
Med Gull - 2nd W patrolling the north wall
Purple Sandpiper - 2 roosting on a low tier of the central section of the wooden jetty with Turnstone

Single Purple Sandpiper by Morecambe Stone Jetty

Sunday, 20 January 2008

Uninspiring weather

Heysham Obs
Drizzle and poor visibility from the west is a poor recipe. No lunchtime passenger ferry today. NB Dont believe the Metcheck forecast for tomorrow (see Link)!

North harbour wall - early dropping tide
Single Purple Sandpiper feeding along the wall with what appeared to be another sleeping with Turnstone on the wooden jetty but light/distance difficult
Med Gull - 2nd W north wall
Twite - 2 around the sandplant area

Considering the number of moths seen at High Tatham last night (76 in 2km of road involving at least 3 species), it was disappointing to find none in the trap. Any readers with traps/sheet & light facilities - may be worth trying to find your nearest deciduous woodland [although tonight is Noah's Ark weather]. There are unprecedented numbers of moths for this time of year and, in the case of Spring Usher and Early Moth, it may be the only chance!

Barnacle Goose of dubious but unknown origin with Canadas on Heaton Marsh (& Little Egret). Adult European White-fronted Goose still on Catshaw Fellside. Pale-bellied Brent still off Royd's by the Sunny Slopes Groyne. At least 4 Little Egret in the Leighton roost. Yet again, nothing of interest on Pine Lake but persistence will surely pay off! The Ferruginous Duck x Pochard has disappeared again and may be the bird back at Stocks Res. See above re-moths - Dotted Border, Pale Brindled Beauty, Early Moth, Spring Usher, Dark Chestnut and Chestnut recorded at High Tatham last night/morning trap check.

Saturday, 19 January 2008

Distant Ducks

Heysham Obs
The Wigeon flock is usually a discrete feature, with no others in sight looking south along the water's edge. Not so today, but unfortunately views were late afternoon at low tide from the north wall looking through the fresh air sections of the wooden jetty with a 50 x lens. Therefore whilst most of the 300 or so additional ducks seemed to be Wigeon, there may have been Pintail (NEVER seen at rest on the sea in the Heysham Obs area despite many passage birds!) & Mallard involved as per the usual mix to the south of here. Also visible at extreme range in the Walney direction were at least 25 of the 3000+ Eider counted in the 'mouth' of the Bay the other day! Otherwise a very poor day, given reasonable morning & late afternoon coverage.

Vis mig
c150 Pink-footed Goose north early morning

North wall
Linnet - single bird on the sandworks was the only small finch seen
Med. Gull - single Ad visible through the wooden jetty on the mudflats between the outfalls
Eider - male close inshore (see intro)

Outfalls area
127 Wigeon in the usual low tide area between the outfalls channels (see above for additional birds which were beyond the old sewage pipe off Ocean Edge)

Middleton IE
5 Goldeneye (1 male), 6 Tufted Duck, female Pochard, 35 Teal, 2 Mute Swan, 6 Coot, 14 Mallard, 1 Snipe. 2 Bullfinch.

No Purple Sandpiper [but no check made of the skeer around Heysham One outfall] or north harbour wall Med Gulls seen (including a check of the harbour)

Adult European White-fronted Goose
still on the side of Catshaw fell - visible from the road. Male Common Crossbill Thrushgill plantation in the larches near the entrance but the only other finch seen was a single Goldfinch. NO Nordic Jackdaw out of c200 checked in SD66 but very flighty due to shooting. Male Hen Harrier Clougha area (56K) & day-flying Barn Owl (disturbance, rather than hunting, from the behaviour) in the same area.

Friday, 18 January 2008

No sign of Iceland Gull during lunchtime visit in poor visibility

Heysham Obs
Didn't really expect to see it, even in decent visibility, as it seemed very much in transit yesterday. If we still had the rubbish tip...........

North harbour wall/IOM passenger ferry
Due to the wind & poor visibility, birds following the ferry were just shapes in the mist unless attracted to the turbulence created by the right angled turn into the harbour. Several presumed Kittiwake seemed to be heading out in the mist, but the only birds of interest feeding in the turbulence were:

Med Gull: large adult, presumably the 'south of the harbour bird'.
Little Gull: adult
Kittiwake: adult

None of these followed the boat into the harbour

A less than conscientious check of the skeer along the north wall did not reveal any Purple Sandpiper & no finches seen on the mound/sandworks in the strong wind. Two Cormorant feeding at the harbour waterfall.

Pale-bellied Brent Goose on the tideline off Sunny Slopes. Otherwise zero on the pager/websites for this area (to 1800 at least)

Thursday, 17 January 2008

A day of two halves

Heysham Obs
'Wet and wetter', the early update headline.........referred to the morning opening & closing of the NHW gate. The afternoon visit, coinciding with the passing of the cold front was altogether much better with a juv Iceland Gull accompanying a small 'passage' of Herring Gulls which appeared to have been tidally displaced from the Ulverston direction. It was lost into the sun heading down the main boat channel at 1505hrs and did not follow the incoming freight ferry back into port. Unfortunately it was too far out/I was not quick enough to get a record shot as the priority was to rule out a small Glaucous! See Bill Aspins site which has just been added to the Links. Caspian, Glaucous and Iceland found on the same day in Lancs - not bad in these rubbish-tip-free times! Well done with the Caspian, Bill. I have decided not to submit the Middleton bird from early 2007 as I was still in the pre-dinosaur period as regards cameras & this species needs to be documented as such so far NW.

North Harbour Wall 1045hrs
Twite - 4
Purple Sandpiper - one on rocks on the south side of the harbour mouth

North Harbour wall from 1500-1525hrs
Juv Iceland Gull out at 1505hrs (about 500m offshore at the closest point)
Purple Sandpiper - one on the end of the NHW, then ten minutes later, two with small group of Turnstones flying & landing on wooden jetty. I suspect, but couldnt prove, three birds
Med Gull - 2 Ads and the usual 2nd W joined the freight ferry as it turned into port
Kittiwake - 5 behind the freight ferry soon returned out of the bay

Single Purple Sandpiper at the seaward end of the Stone Jetty at Morecambe. Water Pipit at a wet Leighton Moss. Zilch on Pine Lake (16 Goosander)

Wednesday, 16 January 2008

TWO Purps again

Heysham Obs
Just a very quick North Harbour wall trawl - TWO Purple Sands at the base of the south harbour wall next to the wooden jetty. Med Gull (Ad) offshore. Nothing finch-wise on the mound and the harbour waterfall remains celibate.

TWO Purple Sandpiper Morecambe Stone Jetty morning and lunchtime. 3 Scaup in Glasson area still.

Tuesday, 15 January 2008

A moth!

Heysham Obs
Moth trap
A Dotted Border was the first moth of 2008

North wall early stages of incoming tide
Twite - 9
Med Gull - ad offshore
Purple Sandpiper - one below the south harbour wall next to wooden jetty

Two Purple Sandpipers Morecambe Stone jetty and a Water Pipit at Leighton Moss

Monday, 14 January 2008

New Med behind ferry

Heysham Obs
North harbour wall
Just 11 Twite seen on the journey to and from the end at lunchtime

IOM passenger ferry
Kittiwake - 5 adults following, 4 of which peeled off and flew out and the fifth fed in the turbulence created by the sharp turn after rounding the wooden jetty, then also flew out. It is unusual that the only chance of this species at present is following ferries or in 'gale transit'.

Med Gull - Adult and a 2nd W following the ferry until the turbulence then both quickly 'out' along the main boat channel. The 2nd W was a new bird, large with quite a bit of black on the head and just small amounts of black on the primary tips. The usual 2nd W (see previous pics for the extensive black outer primary shafts) and the Czech-ringed adult were not seen today.

European White-fronted Goose still at Catshaw Fell from at least mid-morning. Two Purple Sandpiper as yesterday at Morecambe Stone Jetty near high tide. Four Bewick's Swan with 76 Mute Swan Jeremy Lane and three unringed Twite on the fence next to Conder Pool at high tide - c15 Linnet were in the vicinity. Ad Med Gull (female size, with dark on the head limited to very clearly defined masks which did not appear to join over the rear crown) with very muddy rear end in field of similar ilk along Hillam Lane. Hundreds of gulls grilled.

Sunday, 13 January 2008

WeBS lowlights

Quality photographs taken in 2007 of any dragonflies, Purple Sandpiper and the Pale-bellied Brent Goose gratefully received for the annual report and will be fully acknowledged with contact e-mail if requested. Thanks in anticipation. Please send to Jean Roberts or Reuben Neville, NOT Pete Marsh who cannot receive Broadband!

Heysham Obs
Difficulties accessing the site this evening - probably ashamed of the quality of this posting.

North harbour wall
Ad & 2nd W Med Gulls
12 Twite

South of harbour
12 Snipe flushed from Ocean Edge saltmarsh by the tide otherwise....

In the context of this winter and indeed former track record, the presence of three Blackcap at the Leighton Moss main feeder this last two days is unexpected (2 males). The Morecambe Prom WeBS produced the Light-bellied Brent at Sunny Slopes, TWO Purple Sandpipers at the Stone Jetty and the female Scaup close inshore at Bare. Much reduced numbers of Redshank and small gull species - presumably wet fields being the answer. Two Scaup and two Greenshank in the Conder area. European White-fronted Goose still by Catshaw Fell

Saturday, 12 January 2008

Traffic census of the Barrow-Ulverston coast road

Heysham Obs
Seawatching from the north harbour wall
A bit of long-range scoping a fairly calm incoming tide in the hope of one or two of the Walney 'goodies' from yesterday - see Links. In one hour, 234 vehicles went north and 155 south. No birds were seen during the two hour watch other than:

Common Scoter - male flew in (first of the year)
Red-throated Diver - 2 very distant in & landed on water
Eider - 2 in

There were not even any Great-crested Grebe floating in with the tide - this would have been unthinkable 15 years ago.

Closer inshore/onshore
Ad & 2nd winter Med Gulls
Single Purple Sandpiper on the rocks at the end- flew over to south side of the harbour
Twite - 10 at the sandworks entrance

Middleton IE webs
2 Pochard (male new in), one Tufted Duck, c20 Mallard, 10 Coot, 2 Mute Swan, 13 Teal, 3 Goldeneye, 18 Snipe. Also 2 Raven east and c350 Pink-footed Geese north

Little Egret over the Stone Jetty early morning was unusual

Friday, 11 January 2008

Half a whistle stop

Heysham Obs
Apologies to the hordes accessing the site this evening for the late posting. I have been working away, then what turned out to be far too major a detour to pick a revamped accordion up from near Consett!

North wall
Drove down to the sandworks gate, then drove back again & away (1000ish).
Twite - 2 on seed by gate
Goldfinch - 4 on seed by gate
Med Gull - 2nd W along wall

Anything else?

Nothing startling other than perhaps 60 Goldfinch at Conder. Three Scaup still at Glasson basin and the female off Morecambe Stone jetty but no Purple Sandpipers reported/nearly run over today

Thursday, 10 January 2008

Stick to the highway code

Heysham Obs
North harbour wall
'Look ahead rather than out to sea, even at 10mph' as a Purple Sandpiper shot from under the bonnet at the end of the north harbour wall.
Kittiwake - 13 behind the IOM passenger ferry (1 1stW)
Med Gull - 3 - the large ad followed the ferry in, the Czech-ringed ad was already in the harbour and the 2nd W was along the north wall

Red-throated Diver - 1 'out', close inshore
Goldfinch - 3 on the mound (36V) but no other small finches in the short visit

Wooden jetty
Single Pink-footed Goose on the sea late afternoon (SD35Z)

South harbour wall/Gate "38"
3 Twite

Red Nab
47 Wigeon

2 Bewick's Swan still Jeremy Lane, at least one male Scaup still Glasson basin.

Wednesday, 9 January 2008

Seawatching year ticks

Heysham Obs
'Created' a spare couple of hours this morning. What would normally have been a pretty tedious routine seawatch was elevated by the 2008 factor. Most of the birds seemed to be coming from across the Bay, then flying 'out' i.e. not blown properly into the Bay.

North harbour wall 1005-1135
Fulmar - 2 out - not at all regular in winter
Kittiwake - 31 out, bits and bobs other than a flock of 13
Little Gull - 6 adults out as 3+2+1
Guillemot - One out
Red-throated Diver - One out
Bar-tailed Godwit - 3 out (scarce here)
[What appeared to be a fem/imm Long-tailed Duck was seen very briefly at long range flying 'in' then ?landing on rough sea]

Med. Gull - 2nd W briefly along the seawall in the morning and adult during late afternoon check. c12 Twite were seen briefly at the sandplant entrance.

Ocean Edge side
Watched sea/IOM passenger ferry in 1140-1205 & there were 24 Kittiwake behind the ferry & 12 Ringed Plover on Ocean Edge west field

European White-fronted Goose with Greylags roadside near Catshaw Fell. TWO Purple Sandpiper Morecambe Stone Jetty at lunchtime. Two Bewick's Swans with just over 100 Mute on Jeremy Lane and 12+ Whooper in semi-darkness at Melling, Lune valley. Nothing on Pine Lake during quick check in fading light [19 Goosander].

Tuesday, 8 January 2008

Quick check of the ferry

To add to yesterdays request, please could we also have any 2007 dragonfly records which have not been posted on the site. Thanks.

Heysham Obs
Not a nice day - just a quick visit to the north harbour wall at lunchtime, therefore near HT. Amazing anything actually found the ferry to follow it in the lunchtime visibility and, not surprisingly, the Kittiwake numbers were down to 8 adults

Ad & 2nd W Med Gulls along the north harbour wall

The female Scaup was very easy to see off north Morecambe. The ad female Ferruginous Duck x Pochard returned (from Stocks?) to Pine Lake and was present along the eastern edge. Pale-bellied Brent Goose at Sunny Slopes (reportedly). No Purple Sandpipers seen anywhere today

Monday, 7 January 2008

Kittiwakes and the IOM passenger ferry

Please could you check if any sightings of interesting birds in the Heysham area during 2007 are missing from this site. We are ready to write the annual report and would be very grateful for any additional records, perhaps especially even 'common' passing seabirds. Thanks. The recording area comprises birds seen from or in SD36V, 46A, 35Z and 45E. In English, this means any coastal sightings between Sunny Slopes and the old Pontins site at Middleton and (mainly) anything west of the Morecambe to Overton road between Knowsley Road junction and the Potts corner junction at Middleton i.e. includes Middleton IE wetlands.

Heysham Obs
IOM ferry at lunchtime
Med Gull - Both adults accompanying
Kittiwake - c27 of which c10 were 1st winters, most flew rapidly out of the bay as the boat entered the harbour

North harbour wall area
Med Gull - 2ndW
c17 Twite, 2 Linnet and a Goldfinch sandplant entrance mid- afternoon
Tide too far in for Purple Sandpiper sightings at lunchtime

Female Scaup off Bare was new in (high tide)
Canadian-ringed juv Pale-bellied Brent Goose still by the Sunny Slopes groyne [plus year ticking Ringed Plover and Dunlin at last!]. Royds Avenue is the best access if you are pushed for time.
Purple Sandpiper - single bird showing well today at Morecambe Stone Jetty (& Raven over)
Barnacle Goose Fluke Hall and 3 Scaup still on Glasson Basin

Sunday, 6 January 2008

More Twite and Linnet

Heysham Obs
North harbour wall
Twite - up to 19
Linnet - up to 26 but high tide only
Med Gull - The usual Ad & 2nd W
Purple Sandpiper - one at the base of the north wall early morning before being forced off by tide
Red-throated Diver - one 'in' late morning, landed off Heysham Head

Heliport & nearby industrial estate
Fruitless Black Redstart search

Middleton IE
Female Pochard, 3 Tufted Duck, 13+ Teal

Snow but no Snow Bunting X of Greet, but female Brambling with Chaffinches at Thwaite Moss (just W of Lowgill) [Stock Dove cast-iron at nearby Lower Stock Bridge, best from Barleybank road]. Polish-ringed Ad Med P96 Lancaster City football ground. Juv Pale-bellied Brent Goose on distant skeer off Sunny Slopes mid afternoon. Ad Med Gull in feeding melee near Morecambe Strathmore mid-pm, presumably Belgian-ringed 36W. Water Pipit briefly at Leighton Moss. No known check of Pine Lake this w/e. Two European Whitefronted Geese with Pink Feet near Pilling Lane Ends/Fluke Hall. [White-crowned Sparrow Cley - dont 'need' it]

Saturday, 5 January 2008

Three Meds together!

Heysham Obs
..........along the north harbour wall - presumably the Ad Med from the outfalls area following a freight ferry in and joining the regular Ad & 2nd W. At least 6 Twite and and least 12 Linnet around the sandworks entrance. No passenger ferry at lunchtime & nothing else behind the freight ferry.

Female Snow Bunting at Cross of Greet but disturbed by traffic & not seen in the afternoon (different from the Ringstones bird last back end). Later a male Hen Harrier. Ad Med P96 on Lancaster football pitch. Pale-bellied Brent Goose off Morecambe west end in Sunny Slopes. Two European White-fronted Geese with Pinkfeet at Pilling Lane Ends area

Friday, 4 January 2008

Yet another unexpected SD36V passerine sighting

Heysham Obs
.................this time a completely unprecedented midwinter flock of c20 Linnet which joined c8 Twite on the north harbour wall sandplant area during the afternoon.

Single Ad Kittiwake behind the IOM ferry (up to 50 odd this time last year!)

At least one Purple Sandpiper on rocks under the wooden jetty

Adult Med Gull (not sure which one) briefly behind the IOM ferry as it approached the wooden jetty (but not following into the harbour), later both adults behind an afternoon ferry. The north wall Meds have not been easy since new year & the 2nd W not reported today.

Nothing of interest Pine Lake. Purple Sandpiper at the end of the Stone Jetty at least 0820-1400hrs then flew south. Pale-bellied Brent Goose visible at low tide from the end of Royd's Avenue looking out on to the skeers

Thursday, 3 January 2008

Purple Sands still present at the harbour mouth

Heysham Obs
North wall/harbour area
Purple Sandpiper - 2 commuting across the harbour mouth feeding on skeer below the seawalls
Med Gull - Ad & 2nd W but neither particularly easy
Twite - 9 in the morning, 10 in the afternoon (2 ringed birds with light blue (Hey site code) over black/white (3 winters ago)
Eider - male offshore

Ad Med Gull Morecambe Broadway
Chiffchaff by Jackson hide Leighton Moss
Purple Sandpiper end of Morecambe Stone Jetty at lunchtime before flying towards the Battery ex-sewage outfall pipe

Wednesday, 2 January 2008

Another winter mega for SD36V

Heysham Obs
After discovering that yesterdays male Stonechat was on the north harbour wall mound (there are some gorse bushes!), today saw the turn of a Skylark. This is unheard of in winter, other than during snow & CWMs - maybe its a couple of days early. Just missed the incoming IOM ferry c/f Kittiwake. We have no idea where yesterdays Black Redstart might be as the sighting was bang in the middle of a well-watched area, not a minor displacement from unwatched strictly private land as previously assumed (the main lorry park). 5 Linnet by the sandworks

North harbour wall
Med Gull: 2nd winter seen in the morning but none seen at lunchtime
Purple Sandpiper: Two feeding together below the north harbour wall at lunchtime - right at the harbour mouth end
Skylark: One on the mound at lunchtime!
Twite - Four on the mound in the morning, two (one ringed - Heysham site ring light blue over ??) lunchtime which flew towards the south harbour wall

South harbour wall/gate "38"
Two Twite and the Dunnock still in rather adventurous residence, receiving a SD35Z stamp!

Light-bellied Brent Goose off the Sunny Slopes the only report received of any interest from year listers. Purple Sandpiper off the end of the Stone Jetty during the low tide period but elusive amongst large rocks (much easier to see at Heysham, providing not under the wooden jetty!)

Tuesday, 1 January 2008

Under our noses for a month?!

Heysham Obs
Happy New Year

The excuse is that large chunks of the harbour are not accessible. An experienced observer with a different routine - walking down the footpath next to the lorry park - allied to inactivity therein - dug out a male Black Redstart. It was sat on the perimeter fence (no further details). Logic suggests that this was the bird seen in November nearer the harbour mouth which was never properly searched for away from the Centrica Storage Yard/Mound area.

IOM ferry
Two Ad Kittiwake and the 2nd W Med Gull followed it into port at lunchtime

North harbour wall
Male Eider new in. Stonechat in the area (detail later) & at least 1 Twite.

More detail possible later

Disappointing with nothing startling. Water Pipit seen from at least one hide at Leighton and 3 Common Crossbill at Thrushgill. plantation