Tuesday, 16 March 2021

Black Redstarts move through

The winds still from the west, light at first but freshening later. Very low cloud with fine rain/mist early on. The sun broke through mid morning, after that it remained mainly sunny all day.

Heysham skeer - low water 07:30
It was very misty at this time, so only the close in stuff was visible.
Eider c50
Red-breasted Merganser 5. Three males and two females
The unattached male appeared attracted to a passing Eider

Pale-bellied Brent goose 27. They arrived at 07:20 and landed directly onto the middle of the skeer. Later, as I was returning there were two groups of 7 and 15 searching for weed along the north side of the skeer. Possibly the other 5 were still around, I didn't go too close.
This "atmospheric" shot shows the two groups.
There were two birds just out of frame in the first group.
The mid grey band, beyond the rocks, is the promenade and associated hotels etc.

South shore - high water 13:00
At 11:30 this Grey seal was showing at No.2 outflow
Just after this shot it dropped under the surface, so I (MD) was scanning the sea waiting for it to resurface. When I spotted two small, dark birds flying low over the water heading west parallel to the wall. I got my binoculars on them in time to confirm that they were
Black Redstart 2 female type. They weren't far out, c25m, but already past me when I spotted them and even further away by the time I was satisfied of their identity (fortunately with this species a rear view is all you need). So no chance of a picture. Kevin and Alison, then later Alan made a thorough check of likely areas further down the wall, but they were not relocated.

Rock Pipits 4 (Red Nab, sea wall, lighthouse  and waterfall)
Meadow Pipits 3-4 heading north

Common snipe 1
Jack Snipe 1
Both the above flushed from the saltmarsh by the rising tide - ref Alan Larsen.

Wigeon still plenty around, c100 today.

A couple of today's birds from Kevin:

Male Kestrel 

Not quite as uplifting as yesterday's Chiffchaff,
but this frogspawn in my garden pond is another sign of spring