Friday 30 August 2013

Make sure your information is up to date before publishing site guides

Heysham Obs
See below. Just read the whole thing.  I'll re-write it is the politest thing I can say although some is obviously editorial mix up over numbers and sites.  Most of the info can be found on the map below but I'll do a 'how to watch' in more detail = far too many people turning up on high spring tides!

Information published on complex industrial/recreational areas can often rapidly become out of date and indeed inappropriate as regards current access arrangements.  Access routes change, new buildings appear, buildings are knocked down, gates are locked or unlocked, general security issues change and so on.  Therefore it is really important if you are doing a Site Guide that you make sure you have up to date information.  This has not happened with the latest Birdwatching magazine Site Guide to this area, which seems to have drawn on outdated historical stuff and has certainly not involved contacting the Wildlife Trust or local birders.

Apologies to the Ocean Edge caravan site for suggesting that birders can park within the complex - this is not the case and indeed the current access arrangements have been been repeated on a virtually daily basis in the public domain since mid-July with respect to the Bonaparte's Gull

The author is obviously casting himself quite a distance from sites he personally knows well.  Therefore what I have suggested to Bird Watching is that it is important that he runs any Site Guides past the relevant County Recorder who can then forward the draft to the appropriate local to check the up-to-date situation.  Misinformation, even of a seemingly minor nature, can cause problems at a local level, especially if it is relating to access arrangements.

Outfalls/Red Nab area
A 'power walk' round the circuit was long overdue and produced:

Little Gull - adult-type, perhaps 3CY on mudflats
Med Gull - 10 in the usual gathering ground between Heysham one outfall and the wooden jetty
(2 juv, 4 adult, 2 2CY, 2 3CY).  None appeared to be ringed - certainly not with darvics

The bad news is that Heysham One seems to be 'off' and the number of gulls on the outfall was the lowest I've seen for a bit and no obvious sign of the Bonaparte's.  However, it was low tide and many gulls were scattered far and wide over the mudflats to th south

Outfalls/Red Nab evening
Nothing on the sea!
Bonaparte's Gull - Red Nab, but really hard to see facing away - too ages before it lifted its head & gave confirmation to presumed id
Med Gull - now 4  juvs
Little Gull - also roosting red nab - same bird as earlier