Saturday 5 May 2012

Arctic Tern passage

Heysham Obs
First of all the summer plumaged Black-throated Dover was seen earlier yesterday morning, again on the sea. from Rossall and obviously floated in with the tide.  

Steady northward passage up until 8.20 when the (too northerly?) wind got up, the tide was well-in and it died a death.  Little else other than Sandwich tern and a gang of 6 Swift heading north over the sea.  Whoopers were late for here

Sea 0700-0845, 1005-1035
Arctic Tern - 374 in, maximum flock 57 & another 45 in 30 mins mid-morning = 419 in total.  Quite a few of these birds were sat on the sea before moving up the Bay and this may account for the big discrepancy between the more extensively-covered Rossall (6.5hrs).  On the other hand, some may have come from overland as has been observed in the past when the feeding area off the outfalls available (it is not available this year due to 'outage' at Heysham One Power Station, therefore all Arctic Terns have been strictly on passage)
Sandwich Tern - c25
Little Gull - adult in
Whooper Swan - 2 N
Red-throated Diver - 1 in (fsp)
Swift - 6 (flock) NE
Linnet - 6 NE
Swallow - 1!
Whimbrel - 1 in
Can anyone explain the lack of Goldfinch over Heysham this spring (two experienced vis miggers covering most mornings!) compared to Rossall?

Ocean Edge
Wheatear - 2
Dunlin - 370 (mostly if not all schinzii in summer plumage)
Grey Plover - 21
Ringed Plover - 15 (tundrae)
no sign of any Barwits

None - what a surprise!