Saturday 22 December 2012

Kittiwake famine is over

Heysham Obs
Very easy to take Kittiwakes for granted during the usual regular incidence of sustained periods of onshore winds.  Even though the winds may not always be strong enough to produce a motley collection of inshore storm-driven waifs, which usually find the 'waterfall' food supply in the harbour, they usually 'encourage' birds to follow boats to within visual range of onshore observers.  However, when these winds are absent or not quite sustained enough, as has been the case this autumn, Kittiwakes can be completely absent for lengthy periods.  This happened during the freezing weather in early 2010 (none between 1/1 and 12/3) and this autumn has been similar with none since 16/10

North wall brief car-based visit
Kittiwake - adult following an orange 'rescue boat' as far as the wooden jetty
Med Gull - adult as above
Twite - 10 on seed and others heard (2/10 unringed)
Goldfinch - 1+ heard

Awful weather!