Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Thanks to the Ben My Chree

Heysham Obs
A decision to check the incoming ferry led to another bit of seawatching and the closest adult Pomarine Skua seen off Heysham.  The sighting also encapsulated the current theme.  The last two  days have seen a mixture of slightly displaced birds such as Gannet and Manx Shearwater plus migratory species such as Arctic Tern and Little Gull (and two skuas today) making no effort to head 'up and overland', other than perhaps one flock of Arctic this morning during a brighter sunnier spell.  Therefore 98% of the registrations today and yesterday were birds heading 'out' or 'blogging'.  Thanks to Matthew for assistance documenting this lot - hope you saw the Pom from the outfalls side!

Seawatching 0715-1130, 1200-1230
Bonxie (Great Skua) - one out at 1025hrs
Pomarine Skua - light morph adult out at 1208hrs - 50m from the seawall!
Manx Shearwater - 140 out
Red-throated Diver - 2 in, 2 out
Little Gull - 3 adult and 1 2CY out
Arctic Tern - after very few early on, the latter half of the seawatch saw a sustained passage of outbound birds, mainly in small flocks (305 counted).  Just one flock of c20 appeared to gain height and head inland and there were no sightings of birds flying into the bay in tightly cohesive flocks in 'migratory mode'  A very different year so far with this species and we have no idea how many of the recent birds are the same ones 'hanging about in the bay'.  In this respect, upto 100 were on the outfalls and area at lunchtime, following just 15 there early on
Gannet - still low numbers with just 8 seen
Kittiwake - 9 out, 4 in
Razorbill - 8 out
Guillemot - 7 out
Auk spp - 9 out
Amazingly, not one Sandwich Tern , unless the early morning observers forgot to give me the info!

Other north harbour wall sightings
Twite - one appeared to come in-off heading for the feeding station at 1110hrs.  The only one seen today (after none yesterday we are aware of)
Linnet - 6 on the remains of the seed
Goldfinch - 2 as above
No other vis mig as such

One Harbour Porpoise early afternoon and a cetacean which may have been too large for this seen briefly in mid-morning

Emmelina monodactyla and (very belated) Double-striped Pug first for the year