Sunday, 1 May 2011

Arctic Tern feeding station

Heysham Obs
Same weather, different behaviour by Arctic Terns this morning and a bit of a nightmare to count!  However, the plus side was excellent views had by all, as birds often fed very close to the north harbour wall, even in the harbour entrance.  Apologies if anyone turning up for an 'event' felt neglected (as per 0700-0900 LDBWS site advert) - there were so many birders around, it wasnt possible to be certain what 'category' people were in!  There was also very little 'instruction' required as it was a choice between very close Arctic Terns, even closer Swallows and not a lot else.

North harbour wall
Arctic Tern - at least 990 passed through, with counting stopped for over an hour whilst a "pool" of up to 500 birds fed in the channel between Heysham one outfalls and Heysham Head, with some backtracking.  Many of these birds headed overland above Heysham Barrows/Head, confirmed by Tony from a birdless JBP where the highlight was Mike Harding in a camper van!
Arctic Skua - l/im in at 0850hrs, dm out 0945
Gannet - 4
Sandwich Tern - c13 only
Common Scoter - c60 distant birds in at least two groups
auk spp - one
Red-throated Diver - one in, one out
Swift - 1 in - first of year for here
Swallow - minimum of 234 in by 0930hrs
House Martin - 4 out
Whimbrel - 1
Mute Swan - 3 in
Linnet - 3 in
alba Wagtail - 1 in

Red Nab
Dunlin - 790 - all in summer pluamge & a very high count for there
Ringed Plover - 22
Whimbrel - 14
Curlew - 7
Oystercatcher - c270