Saturday, 16 May 2009

Why did we not turn round at Shap when the Gwynedd skuas came on the pager at lunchtime???

Heysham Obs can wait in these circumstances

Fortunately John Wood was able to retrieve the situation at the Stone Jetty and some observations were made by Tony at JBP. Here is John's report. Note the caution as the light is tricky looking out of the Bay in the afternoon and therefore the flock of 23 was not rubber-stamped as Poms.

1515-1815 hrs. A phone call from PJM suggesting a sea watch this afternoon as "the winds are blowing Poms up the Irish Sea". No car available so had a bus ride to the Stone Jetty.....
1540 Pomarine Skua 'in' fairly high steady flight.
1610 Pomarine Skua 'in' again fairly high.
1615 Skua flock of 23 much higher and more distant NW towards Black Combe, finally going out of range.
1625 Arctic Skua 'in'
1650 flock 5 Skua 'out' very low, all appeared dark but silhouetted.
1725 after heavy shower -
Fulmar 2 'in'
Gannet 2 'in'
1735 Gannet 3 'out'
1742 Arctic Skua dark morph 'in' then landed on sea.
1750 Arctic Skua 'in' and attacking Lesser Black-backed Gull. Followed immediately by
2 Arctic Skua 'out' one light & one dark morph. Both attacked one of a flock of 6 Kittiwake forcing it to disgorge which they both dropped to on the sea.
1758 Arctic Skua 'in'
Red-throated Diver 'out'

Heysham north wall 1840-1920
Pomarine Skua - light morph seen at 1845 and probably the same more distantly at c1910 - seemed to land on sea

North harbour wall 0750-0840
Black Guillemot - in residence throughout
Med Gull - a nice summer-plumaged 1st summer on the sea 0750-0800 Purple Sandpiper - summer plumaged adult mobile between NHW and under wooden jetty with about 35 Turnstone
Swallow - 18 NE - all via the harbour!

Absolutely nothing moving offshore!

Middleton Industrial Est
1 Wheatear

At least one Pom Skua and 30 Common Scoter off JBP early evening