Thursday, 5 March 2009

Distant blob on the sea, flock of Waxwing and an ermine!

Heysham Obs
A good day! At least five minutes spent identifying a distant blob in a line between the harbour wall and the southern tip of Walney. This involved a mixture of two lengthy dives and awkward surfacing angles before a decent lateral view indicated it was a Great Northern Diver. Two Red-throated Diver were nearby for size comparison.

It drifted/swam/dived further out and was lost after about 10 minutes. Checking from the OE side produced the first 'mudflat heathaze' of the year and there was no chance of relocation. Worth checking incoming tide?

Heysham Mossgate estate
Waxwing: Thanks to an observant Mrs Hamilton, 10 located on Jenny Nook, off Meldon Road late morning, increasing to 12 by 1420hrs. These were at the top of a tall tree at 1220hrs and a short back-track enabled them to be 'seen-from' within the recording area! Feeding in nearby back gardens out of sight and returning to tops of nearby tall trees at the end of Jenny Nook

North wall
On a flat calm sea, the following were seen
Great Northern Diver - one offshore from at least 0940-0955hrs, then lost. All observations were almost certainly in Cumbria. What appears to be the same bird was seen again, equally distantly, for 20 minutes or so just after midday, but unfortunately not 'put out' at the time.
Red-throated Diver - two on the same 'line' as the above, neither showing any sign of s.p.
Eider - pair
Twite - 8, presumably same birds as yesterday

Wooden jetty
Purple Sandpiper - two on the outermost section of skeer underneath the jetty as yesterday

Ocean Edge mudflats
Lots of gulls around, especially increase in LBB. At least 52 Wigeon still around
Med Gull - adult summer on mudflats to the south during late afternoon visit

Stage One outfall
Good news - water is flowing through and gulls are starting to accumulate on the seaward end for the first time for ?16 months. This is especially good for transient birds later in the spring e.g. 1st S Meds, Arctic Tern flocks

A glimpse of a 'thin white thing' a few days ago was resolved as a Stoat in ermine crossed the nature reserve entrance road at about 1210hrs. This is the first record for the reserve of a stoat in ermine

Single Waxwing still at Leighton Drive, Lancaster this morning. Rough-legged Buzzard late afternoon brushing the eastern side of SD66 between Stocks along Bowland Knotts via the ridge. At least one Long-eared Owl Freeman's Pool along with Barn & Short-eared Owl