Saturday 16 December 2017

More Chough circuitary

Info from Malcolm this am               
I was out for two hours this morning and located the Chough three times.

Chough time line:
9:55 on Heysham Head cliff tops
10:00 - 10:15 feeding on under cliff of high cliffs at Heysham Head (more on this below)
10:25 "cavorting" over rooftops on Worborrow Road (seen from barrows wood)
No sign on horse paddocks
11:05 On fence on south end of Heysham Head sheep field
11:06 Flew into sheep field
11.49 Still in sheep field as scoped from south end of heliport seawall!
No further known observations

Other sightings
Under high steps Half Moon Bay
Rock Pipit 1 - not there at 9:15 but showing well by 11:00
Meadow Pipit -at least 1
Stonechat 1 (female)
PS this is a nice new years day collection of a tricky trio as well as the Chough!

61 Pinkfoot to SE (11:15)

Bit more information about feeding location on high undercliffs:
I thought these high under cliffs would be a good location. There are lots of feeding spots similar to the one at Half Moon Bay, but much more secluded. To this end, I went down to the shore to check from below. I had just got there when the Chough briefly flew over the cliff top then back to the Head. I waited a while but it didn't return. So I climbed out. The Chough was just on the grass above the cliffs. As soon as I got there, it flew to the under cliff. The implication is that it didn't fly there earlier, because I was at the base of the cliffs. This is not in line with my experience at HMB where it came into feed whilst I was much closer than I was today, but perhaps it was just more expectant of people at HMB. 
By the time I got to the point where I could see under cliffs again, I couldn't find chough. I went down to the shore again, but still couldn't locate (there are lots of nooks and crannies here than can only be viewed from certain angles. Presuming that I had missed it moving on, I climbed up to the Head again. It then flew out from under cliffs and headed over the Barrows. It would have been feeding for 15 minutes then, and presuming a similar success rate to HMB it would have a belly full of food to digest.
My advise to birders would be to check these cliffs out from the lower ground to the north of them. The image attached is a view from this point. The good news is that it is very vocal when flying in and out. If they do decide to watch from the shore, they should be aware of tide times. At current heights, there is not a danger of drowning, but easy access and egress can be cut off