Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Unexpectedly good seawatch

Heysham Obs
A really good example of why you have to at least go through the motions with checking the sea, especially along the low tide channel(s).   An intended ten minute scan of the channels and skeers, based on yesterdays gloom and doom seemingly repeated (thickish cloud in the mouth of the bay), was punctuated by the first gang of Arctic Tern and ten minutes became over an hour.    

A bit of advice to several very short-stay 'seawatchers' at Heysham.  Stuff tends to appear in flurries and indeed there was nothing between 1040 and 1055 in what seemed a 'busy' watch this morning.  Don't follow my example (the originally intended ten minutes) and give yourself at least half an hour.

North wall 0955-1100
Arctic Tern - 196 in (flock max 35)
Black Tern - 2 (with different AT flocks)
Whimbrel - 20+1+15
Arctic Skua - 2 dark morph together landed on sandbank for 20 mins before flying in - another dark morph flew in later
Sand Martin - 1
Swallow - none!

Middleton NR
Whinchat - one female western marsh
Cetti's Warbler - two singing

Just OOA
Whimbrel - 52 on a scan of the Lune skeers and mudflats from Sunderland toilet block