Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Hard work but a bit more rewarding than yesterday

Heysham Obs
Again the day was beset by the lack of squalls until a late one about 1530hrs which "produced" the day's highlight, a Grey Phalarope at 1545hrs

Grey Phalarope - on flew close inshore south along the harbour wall and the head pattern was clearly seen by a very experienced observer.  Unfortunately not possible to see whether it flew round the jetty or through one of the gaps (it was not in the harbour).  Also at that time the wind and glare prevented any observation of a likely feeding area at the seaward end of Heysham one outfall
Leach's Petrel - Really poor numbers in the conditions with a maximum of 8 up until 1630hrs
Sabines Gull - TWO adults around.  The usual one was 'available' all day until at least 1630hrs and a second adult with more black on the head (the usual one has moulted quite a bit since its arrival - recognised by the damaged leg) was seen at the same time at least mid-morning and when the IOM passenger ferry struggled in
Kittiwake - about 30 flew out and similar numbers behind the IOM ferry
Arctic Tern - c20, including at least 3 adults
Common Tern - at least one adult and 2 juvs
Sandwich Tern - at least 5 seen
Gannet - at least 16 seen, including lingering birds late afternoon
Fulmar - 9 out
Diver spp - distant bird out
Manx Shearwater - 2 out
Little Gull - usual 2CY and adult plus a 1CY behind the IOM ferry
Sanderling - 1+3 flew out
Med Gull - 9 around the inner end of the wooden jetty early on, including the German darvic--ringed bird.  Also Czech metal-ringed bird seen along the north harbour wall
Wheatear - one by twite feeder
Merlin - on 'in-off', then south-east late morning

Treble Bar, Flounced Rustic and Setaceous Hebrew Character - one of each

5 x Speckled Wood in the office area mid-afternoon

Weasel Moneyclose Lane

Elsewhere & relating to Heysham sightings
Adult Sabine's Gull seen at 1116hrs off Morecambe Town Hall did not appear to pass north harbour wall observers and it could not have been the second (offshore) adult at Heysham as that was seen just prior to the Morecambe observation.  This, of course, assumes the bird seen behind the IOM ferry was indeed the second bird, not another adult. So three in our area
The lack of observation to the south, as opposed to checking along the wave troughs, meant that we all missed the Great Skua which would have been visible just to the south, off Cockersands and then Pilling.  We will be doing a long session tomorrow looking offshore from Ocean Edge caravan park and will definitely pick up any similar occurences!