Sunday 30 September 2012

An unexpected weather window of quality

Heysham Obs
Apologies, but there was no way I could predict the clear slot and swing to SW between about 1000 and 1115hrs before it closed in again.  This would have been a superb mini-event (c/f the cancellation of the migration event schedule for today) watching in the latter stages of the incoming tide on the outfalls

Outfalls area via Gate 38 and Red Nab (two observers) 1000-1115hrs
Leach's Petrel - Re-assessing the situation, it appears that there may just have been two, possibly three birds this morning (not 3-4), including two fairly close together flying out off the end of the outfalls at about 1045hrs.  No further sightings as the wind swung back to just S of SW and the visibility seriously reduced in heavy rain
Black Tern - Juvenile on outfalls (definitely not American, but prompting the walk out there to check!)
Common Tern - juvenile outfalls
Little Gull - adult outfalls
Med Gull - 12 on outfalls (commonest gull near high tide!) - 7 1CY, 2 2CY and 2 adult-types, one probably a 3CY - also two 1CY north harbour wall
Pale-bellied Brent Goose - one on the sea by the wooden jetty, then 'disappeared' - probably flying low to the south whilst scanning for Leach's
Pink-footed Goose - 15 south
Shag - juvenile in the harbour mouth - appeared to fly out to sea, certainly round the wooden jetty, not landing on it
Unlike more sheltered sites, there was no Meadow Pipit movement during 1000-1115hrs

North harbour wall
Just occasional visits from the wide ranging Black Tern and 8 Pintail out, the vast majority of the observations unfortunately after the weather had closed in again 1115hrs onwards
One man and his dog flushed all the Oystercatchers off the heliport at high tide, apart from about 300 re-settling at the cafe end

Outfalls late afternoon
Ringed Plover - 27 on shore by Red Nab
Black Tern - still present on Heysham 2 outfalls 1550hrs

One each of Black Rustic, Pink-barred Sallow, Green-brindled Crescent and Red-line Quaker