Tuesday, 5 January 2010

Sean's wintry vigil

Heysham Obs
Please note that as of yesterday permitted access land belonging to British Energy/EDF is officially closed due to snow and ice. This includes the Nature reserve paths, the "dog walk track"/landscape strip and the Nature Park. Anyone ignoring the notices or taped stiles etc. does so at their own risk. It is unlikely to be opened in the immediate future unless the medium term weather forecast is wrong

This does not mean that the coastal sites, which provide most of the birds at this time of year, are not accessible and we would be very grateful for any records - starting with today! Thanks very much & take care.

Sean's sightings from half moon bay & north harbour wall. Thanks Sean
Managed to get to Heysham this morning despite the snow and general chaos on the roads. A very snowy start to the day on site, with the low tide just before 9am. 12 Curlew feeding on the beach, with 90 Oystercatcher resting on the sand not moving in the snow. Small numbers of Eider, GC Grebe and RB Merganser were on the water, while a lone Wigeon drifted by. Only one flock of 100 PF Geese flew N to S mid morning, with two flocks of Knot (30 south, 25 in to roost on the harbour wall).

Fieldfare (30 + 24), Skylark (2 + 5), Twite (4 + 5, plus 20 at the feeding station area), Linnet (1), Meadow Pipit (3, 1 with a tail missing - must be from the local Spar or Merlins), Reed Bunting (3) all moving round between the fields behind half-moon bay and beach areas.

Several Snipe were raised by dog walkers, 3 Ringed Plover close in on the snow covered beach, 30 Turnstone huddled together with 130 Redshank before high tide (14:30), while 18 Lapwing moved between beach, fields and the helipad. Oystercatcher reached approx 2000 birds today during high tide, with only 25 Knot in amoungst them, this despite a height of 9.5m for the tide.

The afternoon did bring in some sunshine, which brought a lovely view over to the Lake District with all the snow over there. A quick stroll to the point after my surveys led to me locating the usual 2 adult Med Gulls, near the fishermen, 20 Twite on the mound and unusually for here a Dunnock and a few Fieldfare . PS. Finally caught up with the Purple Sandpiper, a lone agent on the seaward section of the jetty, no Turnstone with it though.

North Harbour Wall morning
Twite - 7
Dunnock - 1
Robin - 1
All on feeding station.