The observatory was set up in 1980. It involves ringing,'vis mig' counts (including seabirds) and general monitoring in the Heysham Nature reserve/power stations/harbour area. The statutory moth trap is in place and also a daily log for butterflies, dragonflies etc.
We share an office, kindly provided by EDF Energy, with the County Wildlife Trust. This is located next to the Nature Reserve car park. Do call in. Please leave sightings in the letterbox, ESPECIALLY 'fly-by' seabirds.
Light breeze from west, still quite warm, especially when the sun came out, resulting in heavy thunder showers.
I waited till late morning then set off, in the sunshine, to Middleton to check for dragonflies. I reached the furthest point from my car and the heavens opened! So, in the afternoon I thought I'd check the skeer at low water. Set of in my waterproofs, in the rain, then the sun came out!. I decided to check Middleton on my way home. I just managed a short circuit of the main pond, before the heavens opened again! I didn't really mind. (MD).
Heysham Nature Reserve - Saturday Dark green fritillary below old classroom site (RN)
Middleton Nature Reserve
No darters on any description seen today.
This Grey Heron was taking advantage of the much reduced visitor activity, to do a spot of fishing in the main pond.
This Willow Warbler was feeding newly fledged young, there is a fly in its bill.
Heysham skeer - low water 15:30
Wasn't expecting much on this neap tide, and wasn't overly disappointed.
Great Crested Grebe 1 in summer plumage
Knot 5 - quite late 2nd calendar year
By now you will gather there are not many places you can look on the skeer without seeing a Little Egret, at least 7 around.
Large areas of the skeer are currently lush with gut weed.
These are over a metre long, shame it isn't like this in winter when the Brent Geese feed on it.
This is what the skeer is supposed to look like this time of year.
These are seed mussels, they start by anchoring to the skeer stones. Then each tide deposits silt between them, and the mussels move upwards so that they can still feed. In a month's time they could be sat on a metre of unconsolidated mud, which is ultimately reshaped/destroyed by any summer storms.