Sunday, 6 September 2020

The Pinkfoot have started moving over

Wind still from SW, but not strong. A few light showers and sunny spells.

Pink-Footed Goose - several reports of flocks flying south. Probably c400 in total over the recording area.

Heysham skeer - low water (09:15) (MD)
Great Crested Grebe 7
Eider 23
Little Egret 10
Lots of Oystercatcher and  Curlew
No Knot
Redshank c50
Turnstone c60
Turnstone are well camouflaged in this terrain.
They sometimes don't fly off till you almost stand on them.
This juvenile is typical.

The honeycomb worms are quickly taking over the north side of the inner skeer. Apart from making walking difficult (it's like walking over wet egg cartons, it doesn't harm the worms, they just need to repair the damaged tube), the main significance is to the wintering diving birds that rely on the mussels (e.g. Eider)
The dark finger towards the top is the only area of mussels in this section.
The honeycomb reef goes right up to the first channel (Noah's dyke).
It wasn't possible to cross the channel on this height tide, but the outer skeer, starting on the other side of the channel, appears to be mainly mussel beds.

Wooden jetty area 11:00 (MD)
Just a quick check of the Meds on the beach - none.

This Lesser Black-Backed gull had caught a Common Blenny. Blenny are happy to remain in the shallowest of pools, particularly if covered by wrack. The gull probably foraged for it at the bottom of wall next to the lighthouse.
They look dangerous, but are perfectly harmless.
The fish, not the gull!
A quick tap on the head to subdue it
Then down it goes

Kevin had another excellent and interesting capture in his overnight "moth" trap.
Hornet Hoverfly
They are a huge hoverfly, and according to the NBN atlas there don't appear to be any Lancashire records North of the Manchester/Liverpool area. 

A migrant which has been occurring more frequently in the UK in recent years, 
the largest hoverfly to be found in the British isles.