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.
After a relatively mild day yesterday, there was an overnight frost, enough to freeze ground water and the shallower ponds, but the main ponds remained ice free. Sunshine till late afternoon when it started to cloud over. Almost no wind, what little air movement there was mainly north and west.
Middleton Nature Reserve
Mute swan 2+1 adult 3+1 juvenile - the additional adult is definitely a new bird in, it shied away from the regular feeder.
Water Rail 2
Little Grebe 1
Cetti's warbler - good, but brief, views near the new shallow scrapes in the SW corner of the western marsh.
Some nice shots from Janet
Little Egret feeding on Red Nab
Grey Seal out from No.1 outflow
Two Herring gull stowaways on the incoming ferry
Heysham Skeer towards low water
Great Crested Grebe 3
Pale-bellied Brent goose - they were around the pool in the centre of the skeer, there isn't a great deal of weed in this pool (I checked on the way back when they had gone), so presumably the advantage is that it is underwater and so easier to crop. I counted as best I could from distance, 24, then skirted well past them onto the skeer. 10 minutes later I heard them in flight, there were actually 30, they set off west and I thought they were off to the west side for the night, but they doubled back and landed on the water just west of the skeer.
They then drifted back along the skeer edge and continued feeding from the water
I included this clip, mainly because it gives a good idea of the general activity around, what I regard as, the western edge of the inner skeer.
Finally, I like this short clip, the Eider appears to deliberately upset the gull