Wednesday 3 February 2021

Ephemeral birds

Light east winds and very low cloud early on. It was a mute point if there was very fine rain or just droplets in the low cloud/mist. Later the clouds got higher and the rain heavier, and continued so for the rest of the day. 

Heysham skeer - low water 09:30
Yesterday's check was after low water when the tide was flooding. Today's check was on the ebb tide and produced a different set of sea birds.
Yesterday there were 7 Red-breasted Merganser and no Great Crested Grebe. Today there was just 1 Merganser and 5 GCG. Managed to get them all on this shot
Merganser in foreground, the GCG were just on the limit of visibility through the mist.
Others could have been further out. This picture is as much to convey the conditions as show the birds.

Eider c70 close in
Goldeneye 1, possibly 2 male
Pintail - a flock of 4 birds heading out were quickly lost in the rain and mist, but strongly suggested Pintail. On review of the scant images and the context of the sighting, Pete is satisfied that they were.
Pale-bellied Brent. At 09:00 there were 20 feeding on the mud quite a way from the shoreline in the skeer corner. They were feeding and seemed settled, but on my return at 10:00 they were gone.
This is just a location shot. The Brent are the line of birds strung out mid ground.
This is the same feeding ground they favour when the tide doesn't go out as far on the neap tides.
Heysham Head showing through the mist behind

Mediterranean gull - 1 adult again on lamppost on Heysham road, between Whinnysty Lane and Royds Avenue. The optimum time to see it there seems to be around high water.