Thursday, 18 April 2013

One of the memorable seawatches

Heysham Obs
This was all about a brilliant spectacle rather than an exciting species range.  The only downside was missing the first 10 minutes or so of weather clearance as 17 Little Gulls were seen flying close inshore as I was driving down to the sea-watch point and 38 passed in the first 3 minutes!

Seawatch 0725-1010
Little Gull - 140 (17+5+6+16+4+2+1+3+15+2+4+5+2+1+5+2+1+5+1+2+1+1+2+5+4+8+1+1+7 (singles)+11 (mainly singles)) out in a steady stream with most (70) prior to 0805hrs.  16 of these were 2CY.  The vast majority of the early birds were hugging the seawall and offering fantastic views. This is a record spring passage period count for here, bettered only by the occasional howling late winter gale
Kittiwake - 2+1+36+2+200+5+50+15+12 'in' -  the odd one going out not counted
Common Scoter - flock of 9 out
Gannet - 5 out
Manx Shearwater - one out
Razorbill - one out, one in
Guillemot - one close inshore + 3 out
Common Tern - one blogging for a short time
Arctic Tern - all 'out' -52 in mainly dribs and drabs
Sandwich Tern - 2+4+1+1+1+3 out
Bonxie (Great Skua) - one 'in' then down on to the water  at about 0815hrs, one in 1210hrs
Arctic Skua -  dark morph 'in', then climbed and flew NE high over Heysham Head at 0930hrs, one dm in 1150hrs
Pomarine Skua - lm out 1030hrs
Red-throated Diver - one
Meadow Pipit - c10 north

Arctic Tern - A check from Ocean Edge revealed 83 Arctic terns feeding on the seaward end and these could have included some of the 52 seen on the seawatch but definitely not c20 of those birds.  Therefore at least 100 seen this morning
Little Gull - at least 4 on
Wheatear - 4

Thanks for these, Janet - many more to come, I gather!

Just 9 Twite left on the seed late afternoon