Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Mystery raptor heads quality not quantity over the sea

Heysham Obs
Little Tern was a tangible new reward for sea-watching and only seen because we had run out of milk (which also deserved a short detour!). The early morning slot on the sea was not very mathematically challenging with no lines of Gannet or swarms of Kittiwake.  The mystery slot was a raptor picked up high 'over Roa Island' which then proceeded to head south-east with a projected landfall along the north Fylde coast.  Too far away to identify, it was not too far away to look interesting with a 'noticeable tail' and fairly broad wings not looking 'quite right' for any of the usual options of Marsh Harrier/Common Buzzard/Osprey.  Anyone know anything about what appears to be a stationary (therefore birds?) survey vessel anchored in the Lune deeps, especially as they would surely have had a good view of the raptor?

North harbour wall 0550-0725
Black Redstart - by the Twite feeding area from the word go
Pomarine Skua - light morph adult in at 0600 was a good start - downhill thereafter - c1 mile range
Arctic Skua - distant dark morph in at 0615, close (darkish) intermediate morph in at 0638
Kittiwake - 2CY 'out'
Arctic Tern - flock of 5 out
Sandwich Tern - 7 blogging, one in

North harbour wall 1030-1115hrs
Sandwich Tern - c20
Arctic Tern - c15
Little Tern - 2 slowly 'out' with the above
Raptor - see above, first seen c1045hrs
Gannet - a line of 15-17 very distant birds
Black Redstart - still there 1116hrs & further very close views at 1330hrs seemed to indicate 2CY female
Kittiwake - 2CY out