Friday, 4 May 2012

Very distant Black-throated Diver pieced together

Heysham Obs
A combination of zoom lenses and a lengthy time period narrowed a diver down to either summer plumage Black-throated or Pacific with the flank patch seemingly clinching the more predictable option.  The remainder of the seawatch flattered to deceive with the list looking "fairly good" until the small print of "five hours" is read.  On land it was pretty dire, just the right day to do the CES ringing at both Heysham and Middleton, as we are not supposed to be catching migrants, are we?  The vis mig was also rather paltry compared to recent days.  Thanks to Dan and Jean for running the seawatching event

Sea 0600-1050hrs (multi-observed), 1130-1300 (Tony)
Arctic Skua - dark morph in 0930, flock of three (one LM) in the mouth of the bay c1045
Skua spp - one in at 0847hrs
Black-throated Diver - the observer with the highest quality zoom lens was convinced that all the requisite features were visible on a summer-plumaged bird at long range with others in the 'high degree of certainty' camp and no dissenters. Visible c0910-0930hrs
Red-throated Diver - 8
Sandwich tern - 24
Arctic Tern - 183, maximum flock 30, again rather distant in the absence of any food on Heysham one outfall
Gannet - 12
Common Scoter - 18 out
Kittiwake - 3 in
Pink-footed Goose - three sitting on the water together - also floated out later on!
Mute Swan - 2
Whimbrel - 4
Guillemot - one on

Vis mig combined
Lesser Redpoll - 11 NE
Tree Pipit - 1 NE
Swallow - 58 NE
House Martin - 2 NE
Linnet - 13 NE
alba Wagtail -  NE
Goldfinch - 16 NE

Redstart - female flew quickly inland through Middleton NR
Wheatear - just 3 seen today
Whitethroat - at least 2 migrants
Willow Warbler - no evidence of more than 2 migrants!

Harbour Porpoise - one offshore c1040hrs
Grey Seal - three together