Friday 7 August 2015

Aerial bombardment of the SPA

Heysham Obs
A real contrast this evening.  Loads of people and dog walkers on Ocean Edge caravan site and not one scrap of encroachment and disturbance of the high tide roost at Red Nab with many people reading the informative notices scattered along the seaward edge of the caravan site and coming to have a chat about Oystercatchers etc.

Contrast that with events further south at Potts Corner.  For the first time I can remember, Curlew and Oystercatcher were actually being displaced from the incoming tidal mudflats and flying back to join the Red Nab roost.  The movement on the incoming tide is invariably in the other direction.  Why?  An aerial "barrier" of two Paramotors and, further out on the mudflats (so they "don't disturb the residents of the caravan site") model aircraft which seemed to have a range of almost 1km were 'blocking' the flightline to Middleton saltmarsh.  The model aircraft area provided a focal point for numerous off-lead dogs as people wandered out there to have a look, leaving the mutts to charge all over the mudflats.   Why did they all remain over the high tide period when they were occupying a significant section if shoreline used at this time by waders - no sign of any of the usual Grey Plover/Knot/Dunlin etc which start to appear at this time?

As I have said before, there is absolutely no will on the part of the people who can influence access here - they have just turned up and paid lip service to meetings relating to the recent recreational disturbance study.   Twelve month licence conditions are also not being met (see below)

I've also mentioned before that I spent quite a bit of time changing the "car crash" prescriptive wording on informative notices on wildfowl and waders which been commissioned as a condition of  a 12 month licence for the caravan site.  I made them relevant to the area in general  and, in some cases,  the proposed location of the individual notice  along the shoreline.  Where are they?  Gathering dust because "it was decided to put them "all together" (!) by the Potts corner access.................but we cant do that because the wind-farm will be using it as their cable-laying base".   No need for me to comment again on this, but what a contrast between the attitudes of Ocean Edge and the Potts corner area, reflected in the respectful behaviour at Red Nab  

Red Nab circa high tide
Oystercatcher - 2500
Curlew - 350 (usually all gone towards Middleton by this stage of the tide)
Redshank - 160
Med Gull - 4 x ad, 2 x 2CY, 1 x juv
Little Gull - moulting ad briefly - seemed to fly over towards the Lune