Tuesday 2 March 2021

Spring tides reveal the honeycomb worm beds

Another overnight frost, but again feeling warm during the day with the heightening sun and a light east breeze.

A quick update from yesterday:
Jack Snipe 7 seen as the tide covered the saltmarsh ref G Hulme. 

Heysham Skeer - low water 07:50
Low water on spring tides always occurs early mornings and evenings, so it is not possible to check them during the short days of winter. Today was the first chance to see the full extent of the middle skeer since October last year. It didn't exactly cheer me up! (MD)
On the north side there is a Honeycomb worm bed roughly 0.5km square. These are four shots from the middle, it's pretty much honeycomb as far as the eye can see



The above pictures were taken from on top of a mound, to show the extent of the beds. This one I stood at the skeer bed level and shows the height of the mounds.
This one is almost 2m
Apart from the impact on the ecology of the skeer (good or bad depending on what you are and what you need), it also makes walking treacherous. Not only is it difficult to walk over, it also can obscure water channels filling behind you. Not an area for the inexperienced.

No Knot again today, Pete advises that they all appear to be feeding on the south side.

Eider - too spread out for an accurate count, but at least 50
I had to get reasonably close to this constantly preening immature male, to be certain of its identity 
At least the Honeycomb worm beds make a good preening platform

Great Crested grebe 3
Red-breasted Merganser 9 (8 males)
The Mergansers were strung out all along this channel,
these are three of the males with a couple of Eider

South Shore - high water 13:20
Rock Pipit 1 on Red Nab
Wigeon 180 drifted past the foreshore as Red Nab was covered
Mediterranean gull 1 adult flew in with 3 Black-headed gulls.
Common Snipe 6
Jack Snipe 2
The snipe were watched by Jean and Alan as they were pushed towards the saltmarsh edges by the tide
Stop press - just received some great Jack Snipe pictures from Graham Hulme, will post tomorrow. Don't miss them!

Finally, I've decided that I must be a closet ship anorak.
It may not be the "Fighting Temeraire"
but it does have its own charm (definitely an anorak!)