Monday, 1 May 2017

Waiting for Godot delivers in style

The early morning vigil on the sea from 0700 drifted on via negative news from Rossall, extensive negative searching of the skeers for the Iceland Gull, a cafĂ© stop and an office visit until 1100 when one of us gave up and the other decided just to let the tide come in a bit.  At this point, Alan arrived and it all started to happen!  Yet yesterday the early morning low tide period was quite productive.  Seawatching can be so unpredictable.

The tern behaviour was also different this morning with just a bit of north in the easterly wind.  There were two lines used by birds heading in the bay and no sign of any heading inland over the wooden jetty or even further south as yesterday.  The first line was 'yellow buoyish range' and the second line was in the second channel beyond the first sandbank and it was along this line the star of the morning, three Pomarine Skuas, materialised

Osprey - one flew NE over the reserve at 1130 (Alan D and John M)

Arctic Tern - 301 in, mainly after 1130
Black Tern - 48 in with largest group 23.  Some could have been missed on the 'inner line' whilst keeping tabs on the Poms.  All after 1130
Pomarine Skua - three low over the water just beyond the first sandbank at 1140, then landed for about 12 minutes before heading slowly and low up the channel.  Two were obvious light morphs with full tails, the third looked a bit 'messy' underneath where the others were clear cut pale but still had a full tail.  A nice new species for Alan!
Whimbrel - 4 in
Sandwich Tern - 7 blogging early on then a further 15 in with the main movement
Black-headed Gull - c150 in, mainly 2CY
Meadow Pipit - 11 in
Swallow - c150 in (and single/low double figures over Middleton and HNR)
Sand Martin - 13 in
Red-throated Diver - one in summer plumage on
Great-crested Grebe - one on
Eider - 278

Wheatear 2

Middleton NR
Mute Swan - 3 pairs all on nests
Tufted Duck - 4
Gadwall - 1
Mallard - 3
Little Grebe - 1
Common Sandpiper - 1
House Martin - 2 NE
Cetti's Warbler - three singing males
Grasshopper Warbler - 2 singing males
Lesser Whitethroat - three singing males
Reed Warbler - still just two singing males
Big increase in Whitethroat and plenty of Sedge and Willow Warblers but Blackcap and Chiffchaff starting to be 'quieter', as befits earlier nesters