Thursday, 8 May 2008

Reasonably good seawatching & Heysham One outfall producing the goods at last!

Heysham Obs
Five observers covered the north harbour wall seabirds 0715-1230hrs and were rewarded with (or missed!) some reasonable fare:

North harbour wall/outfalls observations 0715-1230 (Dan Haywood, someone who should have been at work, Pete Marsh (who also should have been at work), Brendan & Paula Smith)
Avocet - flock of 6 into the Bay - the third ever record & the third this spring!
Pomarine Skua - full-tailed ad light morph in at 1010ish - a bit distant, flying low into the bay
Arctic Skua - single dark and darkish morphs in 0735 & 0743
Marsh Harrier - one across the mouth of the bay heading for the north Fylde at c1135
Arctic Tern - not easy to document. c470 birds involved, mainly after the tide started to come in and invariably after gathering on the outfalls. Many of these headed straight up into the air and either NE over the harbour or high into the Bay. 91 of the total were birds remaining on the outfalls on the incoming tide when the observations ceased. c90 still on the outfalls (same birds??) at 1600hrs, then 50 headed off high into the sky NE (which suggests that they were not the same throughout)
Black Tern - at one stage there were two on Heysham 2 outfall but hard to see through the remnants of the wooden jetty. The accompanying Arctic Terns went off high into the sky and were presumed to have taken the Blacks with them. However, a single Black Tern appeared with more Arctics & remained until observations ceased. Probably 3 birds. One still on the outfalls at 1600hrs and two others flying SE past Red Nab
Common Tern - up to 4 blogging
Sandwich Tern - impossible - somewhere between 35 and 50 birds during the morning
Whimbrel - 5 in
Swallow - 506 in 0715-1130 - probably double this as birds sneaked behind observers! Still moving at about 4/minute late afternoon
Swift - 16 in
House Martin - 19 in
Sand Martin - 1 in
Tree Pipit - one NE
Lesser Redpoll - just 2 NE
Jackdaw - 2 in-off, then NE as yesterday (some moving at Walney this month as well)
Linnet - 2 NE
Meadow Pipit - 2 very late birds NE
Black-headed Gull - notable passage with 100+ flying in and 35 still on outfalls at 1200
Mute Swan - flock of 4 in-off from Walney direction and a flock of 7 across from Ulverston direction - most unusual!
Knot - flock of 40 out

Inshore/off passage (see above for tern species)
Bar-tailed Godwit - 2 - scarce here
Common Sandpiper - 2
Turnstone - 166 (no Purple Sands noted)
Black Guillemot
Guillemot - 2 floating in quite close (1st summers)
Common Gull - 287

Insects from north harbour wall
Large White - 13 in-off/NE
Small White - 6 in-off/NE
unspec white spp 22 in-off/NE
[no Red Admiral or other butterflies seen]

Ad male Red-footed Falcon 'in-off' at JB Point - seen by two experienced observers. Just outside LDBWS area: 5 Dotterel on Little Ingleborough. Black Kite over Lancaster YESTERDAY evening.