Thursday, 29 April 2021

Three Tern species passage

A cold north wind continued till late evening before easing to nothing. Some heavy showers.

Pete's report from this morning:
Low tide channels 
Great Crested Grebe 4 
Red-breasted Merganser 6

Arctic Terns 11 plus 8 plus 12 the first lot headed NE high over the horse paddock!
Sandwich Tern c74
Common Tern 1
Pink Footed goose 14 north
Swallow 28 north

I just managed a late evening check of the skear. 
Little Egret 7
Whimbrel 2
Eider 67 close in
Red-Breasted Merganser just 3 - no displaying today
Great Crested grebe 4 (2 x 2)
These two didn't seem to be getting on!

Later, these two were starting a very genteel display. This clip also shows the beautiful evening light.

The tide had left this Thornback Ray stranded. They are one of the 
recent fish species, that were once quite rare but are now quite common in the bay.
It was obviously alive when stranded as you can see marks in the mud
where its tail had been. I picked it up, it was still just alive.

I quickly placed it in a pool that would not drain before the tide returned.
I think it would survive. It was probably one caught then returned by anglers
and hadn't had time to recover before being stranded

It was a beautiful sunset, but better still........ made the rain falling near Arnside into Purple rain!

LDBWS Heysham 'open weekend' this Sat & Sun 
 now includes Middleton Nature Reserve 

The second LDBWS field meeting of 2021 is a two-parter! Seawatching and landbird migrant sessions at Heysham Head this Saturday May 1st (7 'til 11AM) AND Sunday May 2nd (also 7 'til 11).

The first half of May sees the peak of Arctic Tern and Arctic Skua passage, as they fly into the inner bay on their Spring migration. Meet Shaun Coyle, Dan Haywood and other seasoned society seawatchers in the carpark of St. Peter’s Churchyard Heysham (suggested parking- Knowlys Rd or the pay-and-display in the village) at 7AM for a two-hour+ session over the dropping tide.

If you're not an early riser we'll be birding in the area till 11 AM but note that for terns etc., early morning is usually best.

As well as looking for terns, skuas and auks on the move we may also see offshore swallow and swift passage and search for songbirds making landfall on the headland. Telescopes can be useful but are by no means essential– binoculars are fine.

We would also like to offer short guided walks around nearby Middleton NR at this double-morning event, where the focus would be singing scrub and wetland warbler species. Please let us you know if this appeals and we can make arrangements.

Contact to express your interest in the event (stating which day you would like to join us) so we can gauge numbers and plan– note we’ll be moving around using the ‘rule of six’ but there will be plenty of space on the head!''

Please note that this open weekend event replaces the May 8th event-- when weather is predicted to be foul. Looking good for this weekend though!

A chance to see:
Arctic Skua

Arctic Tern