Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Thank you BBC!

Heysham Obs
Any excuse to escape boring admin work and the BBC offered an intriguing cloud/rain-flow sequence last night which included a tiny gap between the morning and afternoon rain in Morecambe Bay. Didnt look promising at 1115 with the rain/poor visibility seemingly esconced, then it cleared! Further incentive provided by a Bonxie during the earlier morning session

North harbour wall 0650-0750, 0900-0930, 1115-1200, 1800-1840
The Arctic and Pomarine Skuas were during 'flight opportunity windows' of clear(ish) rainless weather between about 1120 and a rapid closing in again at about 1145 & 1810-1840.

Bonxie (Great Skua) - one as sat on the sea on the edge of the murk at 0905hrs and flew into the said murk in a generally NNW direction
Arctic Skua - a phone call-interrupted bins-only light-morph 'spp. prob Arctic' heading in at 1125 was upgraded after the Pom went 'in' on the same line. Another LM 'in' further offshore at c1132. 6 'out' at 1815; LM & DM inshore and 4 x DM further out
Pomarine Skua - light morph in at 1135 on the yellow-buoy line, therefore really nice views of the full tail
Gannet - one out 1140, plus 13 out prior to 0720 and 4 in, plus 24 out in the evening
Common Scoter - 2 out, 1 in early am
Sandwich Tern - 1 on the red buoy early am
Arctic Tern - one out c1830
Fulmar - one in c1840
Whimbrel - 3 out & 4 on Red Nab
Turnstone - 35 flew off high to the north - wouldnt be my choice of migration departure weather but they are probably used to it!

Common Pug was an exciting new addition to the year list

Two bulky skuas sat on the JBP mudflats at 1200hrs at long range, at least one of which was light morph (reliable and very cautious observer) - they then flew out into what was murky conditions. These MAY be additional to the above Heysham birds and may of course still be milling around in the bay