Monday, 13 May 2013

More seabirds and the ultimate late-afternoon reward

Heysham Obs
Unfortunately Heysham remained squall-free over a large part of the tide and this reduced birds to a trickle after a promising start - indeed Orange Tip butterflies were on the wing in the nearby Nature reserve!  These ameliorated conditions did allow the Black Redstart to forage regularly out in the open.  Then persistence paid off as a final seawatching stint saw a close Long-tailed Skua displaying its lengthy tail-streamers as it headed into the bay

Black Redstart - seen in same area as yesterday and later down the Twite feeder area regularly 0730-1330 at least
Wheatear - one large male

Seawatching 0700ish to at least 1630ish on and off with relatively little seen after 1100ish except for six individual skuas of four species & a small influx of Manx Shearwater during the afternoon!
Long-tailed Skua - superb adult with full tail streamers headed relatively close in at 1522hrs (as I was sat in the office!!)
Kittiwake - flocks of 43+68+225+28+21+30 in no particular order, plus a handful on singletons
Pomarine Skua - two together at c0715, one at 1200 - all lm ads heading in (& Rossall timing suggests one slipped through during a short period when there was no observation)
Arctic Skua - 7 lm and 4 dm, all 'in'
Bonxie (Great Skua) - one in c0720, one in 1345hrs
Skua spp - one distant, probably Arctic, one distant unidentified.
Fulmar - 3
Gannet - difficult - probably c190 'out' but possibly more than this in total (c100 in)
Sandwich Tern - at least 60 out, especially early on
Arctic Tern - dribs and drabs heading out throughout - c27, mainly early on
Manx Shearwater - no 'push' due to the lack of squalls with just 9 seen until a relatively concentrated scatter of 17 late afternoon
Red-throated Diver - 2+1 out
Whimbrel - 5
No auks!

Outfalls
Kittiwake - 2 x 2CY

Fisher's roof
1,120 large gulls, mainly 2CY Herring, at high tide but also including nesting birds which must have felt their privacy being invaded!
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