Sunday, 25 January 2009

Shag a welcome year tick amongst a good selection

Heysham Obs
Shag occurrences are usually limited to autumn juvenile influxes which gradually disappear (e.g. about 28th December 2008) or very occasional strictly transitory birds. Therefore a juvenile roosting on the wooden jetty at high tide today was unexpected.

The other feature today was an example of the unpredictable nature of the north harbour wall. Saturday is normally much quieter than Sunday but an attempt to catch Twite was unsuccessful due to a semi-resident angler plus 3 kids & dog and, when they had finally gone, really unfortunate timing by arriving police patrol and birders. Today at 1100hrs: not a soul anywhere near the feeding station, despite high tide!

Birders could help by not getting out of their cars if a black-coloured Rover is parked next to the feeding station with a 'whoosh' net set ready for action! Thanks very much & please remember that any Twite you do see are very much courtesy of this ringing study/feeding station - they would not be here otherwise, but offering much less satisfactory and unpredictably located views on the saltmarshes

Seawatch 0920 - 1145 hrs & north harbour wall 1100hrs
Kittiwake - adult in the harbour by the "waterfall"
Pink-footed Goose - 3 South; 45+52+16 North
Greylag Goose - 1 North
Great Crested Grebe - 4 out, 1 in & 2 offshore
Red-throated Diver - 6 out; 5 in
Guillemot - 2 offshore + 1 out
Auk sp - 2 out; 1 in
Shelduck - 1 in
Common Scoter - male out 1102 hrs
Duck sp - 15 out, very fast and very low over sea
Shag - juv wooden jetty
Little Gull - 1st W Stage 2 outfall
Med Gull - adult NHW
Twite - 46 Sand Plant gate
Linnet - 1 over Reserve
Perhaps surprisingly, no sign of any Purple Sandpiper

Visible from the recording area boundary(ish)..............
Pink-footed Goose - 1076 in fields just east of the met mast alongside the A683 Heysham bypass at least 1030-1530 - thoroughly grilled & not even a neck-collar or darvic

Observers: Malcolm Downham, John Wood, Pete Marsh

In addition to above:
Red nab
1 Purple Sandpiper flew in from along South Wall 1hr before high tide
21 snipe (plus 15 from Ocean Edge)
123 wigeon (didn't count shelduck as they were scattered into several groups from Ocean Edge to outflows)
c 30 Twite/Linnet flock

At least two European Whitefront with partially obscured views of the Bull Beck Greylag flock. Little Gull off Morecambe lifeboat station at lunchtime. The Wray 'crest is a Goldcrest.