Saturday 19 May 2012

No heading suitable for a family audience

Heysham Obs
A statistic crossed my mind this morning.  If you added the temperature to the number of birds of interest, this must surely be the worst day ever, receiving a modicum of coverage, in the history of the Obs.   Low temperatures are normally pretty good for birds with e.g. the usual winter array of Meds and the like.  Saved by a Common Sandpiper.

Seawatch/reading the paper 0815-0845 in 6.5C
Gannet - one along the Cumbrian horizon
A Grey Seal

WeBS count in 7.5C
This was unbelievably bad with just TWO species of wader (even Curlew absent!).  Not a single passage small wader other than a Common Sandpiper along the north harbour wall.  All the Turnstone appear to have gone - the wooden jetty was carefully scrutinised from both sides and Red Nab/Ocean Edge foreshore and the tideline towards Middleton were completely devoid of anything small and wader or even any lingering Barwits and Grey Plover.  Even the immature Common Gulls have moved on (just 6 seen).

The Webs included:
Herring Gull - 114 non-breeding imms on Fisher's roof
Oystercatcher - 156 on Red Nab were the only ones in the recording area (heliport devoid of birds)
Common Sandpiper - one at the north roundhead flew into the harbour and landed along the western side

Ringed Plover - female with at least one chick on the gravel between the fence and the parked buses along the north wall
Linnet - flock of 17 on Ocean Edge feeding on weed seed