Thursday, 28 April 2011

Terns and blue seas

Selection of breeding or prospective breeding birds at Middleton NR the last three days (thanks Janet)

Heysham Obs
So the Ocean Edge advertisement is accurate!  The sea was bluer than I've ever seen it off here this morning with presumably not a scrap of turbulence and sediment in flat-calm conditions on a gentle neap tide and low feeder-river levels.  Rather like overhead vis mig, the blue didnt help when trying to pick out birds flying past, the large Arctic Tern flock was nearly missed!  Was anything missed earlier in the morning?  Sometimes it appears that Walney and Heysham are on different planets, even in clear conditions when in theory you can see "anything that flies into the bay past Walney".  They had 42 Red-throats, including a flock of 13 flying into the bay and no Arctic Terns in just about the same hour as us (0715-0815).  On the seaward side, a double-figure count of Manx S.

North harbour wall & Ocean Edge 0730-0900
Arctic Tern - flock of 64 in, then gaining height at 0735 (what was missed prior to this?)
Sandwich Tern - 'dribble' in, totalling 39 individuals, largest group 5
Sand Martin - one NE, the only hirundine seen!
alba Wagtail - 3 north
Linnet - 2 north
Dunlin - 27 Red Nab
Turnstone - 138 wooden jetty
Purple Sandpiper - one wooden jetty

Scalloped Hazel new for the year