Friday 26 April 2019

Birds of Cumbria

It is quite unusual to have a seawatch in Morecambe Bay where a majority of the seabirds are unidentifiable. A rather belated arrival in relation to HT (and texts from Rossall) saw a 0640 start but it was really difficult for a lone observer.  Birds were at all heights, some in close, yet it was necessary to use a scope all the time.  The most unusual sighting was a first for me in Morecambe Bay.  Gannet usually fly in curse and swear when reaching the inner bay cul de sac and fly out again.  Today five birds circled and soared up like distant White Storks up to the height of Black Combe, then decided against cutting across Furness and rapidly dropped to continue progress out of the Bay as usual

Sandwich Tern - 91 out, probably many more as distant birds could not be separated from eg BH Gull
Arctic Tern - 6 flew in very high and 13 flew out
Gannet - 26
Razorbill/Guillemot - absolute minimum of 35, possibly well over 50 but the shapes were not safely identifiable even to auk spp
Kittiwake - flock of 9
Red-throated Diver - 3 in, 2 out (plus other shapes suggesting diver  spp)
Common Scoter - flock of 25 in then out
Whimbrel - flock of 16 in
Arctic Skua - dark and int/dark in together low along the Kent channel line at c0700; a suggestion that they had got up off the sea as not picked up on outer bay sweep just before sighting

An attempt to mix a couple of mist nets and seawatching from the reserve produced one Willow Warbler and several of the Gannets and auks by 0830!