Monday, 21 April 2008

The floodgates open

Heysham Obs
This has been one of the better mornings I can remember at Heysham. First of all there was murky offshore weather until about 0830 and this produced a good sprinkling of grounded 'night' migrants. Then, as it cleared, the vis mig really kicked in with the main theme being 'catch-up' by Meadow Pipit & Linnet, almost three weeks after the usual peak passage, but also quite a few Swallow.

Vis Mig from NHW & Ocean Edge foreshore 0700-1130 (excluding 0815-0900)
OSPREY - one circled high then headed ENE over Red Nab/Power stations at 1040
YELLOW WAGTAIL - male NE at 1035
ARCTIC SKUA - first of the year was a dark morph in at 0925, presumably the same later blogging off JBP
Meadow Pipit - 557 NE
Linnet - 502 NE
Swallow - 217 NE
Sand Martin - 32 NE
Goldfinch - 29 NE
House Martin - 8 NE
Arctic Tern - 32 north up the bay
Sandwich Tern - 12 north up the bay
Gannet - one distantly
White Wagtail - one north - the only 'alba' seen!
Whimbrel - 8+4+3+7 north
Red-throated Diver - sp bird in

Wheatear - minimum of 43
BLACK REDSTART - female on the bollards next to Red Nab, then on the PS perimeter fence before disappearing into the storage area c0820hrs
REDSTART - male by the pond in the nature park at c1130 (thanks Jeff) Whitethroat - one singing briefly at Red Nab
Sedge Warbler - one singing briefly at Red Nab
Willow Warbler - definite influx but very difficult to be sure of numbers (no ringing today)- maybe 30+

Other morning observations
BLACK GUILLEMOT - this reappeared at about 1030hrs and remained close inshore between the wooden jetty and Heysham 2 outfall
Med Gull - 1st summer with Common Gulls
Common Gull - numbers increased to c252 outfalls/Red Nab but evidence of coming and going throughout the morning
Black-headed Gull - influx with up to 56 around outfalls
PURPLE SANDPIPER - summer plumaged bird still on the wooden jetty with Turnstone
Knot - 450 flying very high to the NW

Vis mig from north harbour wall 1300-1400 & 1530-1630
Black Guillemot & Purple Sandpiper around/on wooden jetty throughout
78+60 Swallow NE
2+24 Sand Martin NE
2 Meadow Pipit NE
This period also saw a tern approaching the outfalls and when it was checked out it from the OE side turned out to be the first Common Tern of the year

Half-moon Bay area late afternoon
3000-4000 Knot seeming to depart very high to the NW
10 Swallow NE

Harbour Porpoise off the NHW for c5 minutes 0915hrs

Bombus terrestris queen in-off with Meadow Pipit

Probably the most interesting posting was a flock of mid-afternoon Jackdaw (65) heading high and purposefully to the NE over Freehold. Presumably the DM Arctic Skua (see above) was off JBP over the midday period plus about 8 Arctic Tern & 2 Red-throated Diver. Pied Flycatcher and Redstart Hindburndale (PF since yesterday) but no Cuckoo yet.