Saturday 3 April 2021

Common Crane - poor timing!

The light, cool, north wind continues, but a pleasant day in the almost constant sunshine.

Common Crane 11:00 watched from Fluke Hall heading towards and into Heysham air space. Unfortunately just after both Pete and myself had left the area!

Pete had managed a quick check in passing:
Osprey 1 - 10:15 distant and went up the river Leven
Eider 154
Great Crested grebe 5
No Red-breasted Merganser
Little Egret 13 around the skeer (a lot for the breeding season).

Other stuff:
Wheatear 1 male on saltmarsh in the morning
Rock Pipits 8 (2 Half Moon Bay beach, 1 foreshore, 2 Red Nab and 3 between lighthouse and waterfall, including two displaying males. Heysham Head not checked)
Just a few birds passing over to north in the morning
Meadow Pipits 10
Alba wagtail 2
Two of several 2nd calendar year Common gulls feeding on the outflows.

Someone asked me this morning why there seems to be almost constant dredging of the harbour, I expect most of you know the answer, but for those that may not, here it is (MD).
The harbour is the wrong way round!
Most harbours and Ports are fed by a water course, a large stream or small river continually flushes silts out of the harbour. Small streams are dammed and water released periodically (normally at low water) to flush away silt. There is no water course feeding Heysham Harbour. On the contrary, it is the feed to two small "rivers" (Power Station cooling waters) that draw water into the harbour.
This is the harbour at low water this morning, not an especially low water.
The dredger is just beyond the harbour mouth. You can see the open
channel for shipping but silt build ups to the left

Looking at the water above, everything looks still, but when you look at the water running out of the two outflows, you have to imagine that volume of water constantly flowing into the harbour. 
Of course the outflows are far from the only factor, there is a huge volume of constantly shifting silts and sands in Morecambe bay. I'm amazed the shipping channels into the harbour remain consistently along the same line, presumably related to the sea bed geology.