Friday, 29 April 2011

Arctic Tern passage in full swing....and a 'large dragonfly'!

A very early 4-spotted Chaser at Middleton this morning (thanks Janet)

Heysham Obs
At lunchtime, Janet indicated that she had just photographed a large dragonfly at Middleton!  "Unfortunately" this turned out to be by far the earliest ever record of 4-spotted Chaser for this area, not the hoped for Hairy Hawker or 'ridiculous' Vagrant Emperor long-shot.  Pic later.  Good coverage this morning by Pete Cook, John & Nick from 0600 to about 0945hrs.  Decent numbers of Arctic Tern with many on a close-inshore line, but others a long way out and some may have been missed along this line.  An accompaniment of four Arctic Skua was par for the course

North harbour wall 0600-0945 & three short sessions pre-1330hrs
Marsh Harrier - what was probably an imm male flew high to the north-east 'over' the sea at c1100hrs, gradually getting closer to this side.  Almost missed due to height!
Arctic Tern - 543 'in' (not 453 as per pager!), largest flock 64
Arctic Skua - one early on, one about 0800hrs and two together about 0830 (the latter were, on timing, not those seen off JBP) - all dark morph heading 'in'
Sandwich Tern - c12 in/blogging
Common Scoter - 10+4+16 out
Gannet - 3 in
Swallow - at least 104 in, many missed as they flew through the inner wooden jetty gap and then through the harbour!
Linnet - 6 in
alba Wagtail - 4 in

Ocean Edge foreshore
Dunlin - 360
Grey Plover - 38 with 7 in full summer plumage
Whimbrel - just one
Mallard - pair Red Nab

Middleton NR
4-spotted Chaser photographed at lunchtime.  Azure damselfly and Blue-tailed damselfly both seen singly during mist-net ride maintenance

No terns visible from JBP pre-0930 but two different (on timing) dark morph Arctic Skua passing through together (up the Kent estuary).  After seawatching had ceased at Heysham, there was a trickle of Arctic Tern (c30) and an influx of Arctic Skua with a further 7 individuals (3 light morph) giving a total of 9 for the morning