Monday, 3 May 2021

The sea still providing interest

SE wind freshened during the day to almost gale force by evening, by then almost due south. The rain graciously held off till mid morning then increased in intensity with the wind. By later evening the wind was easing and the rain eased, but it's forecast to be a strong northwesterly by the morning.

Two seawatch reports from Pete on north wall and Nick on Stone jetty. The times are similar so there will be some duplication of birds that went right through.
North wall 0645-0845
Guillemot 13
Razorbill 9
Auk sp 8
Gannet 5
Arctic Skua1 dark morph
Common Scoter 1 
Swallow 38
House Martin 2

Near Naze Rock pipit displaying 
Harbour Porpoise 2 (quite a good day for marine mammals, a Grey Seal also seen later).

Stone Jetty 6.30 - 8.40:

Common scoter 1 in

Red-throated diver 2

Black guillemot 1 out 8.28 

Razorbill 3

Auk sp 5

Kittiwake 30 out 2 flocks

Sandwich tern c. 35

Whimbrel 9

Rock pipit singing male

I managed a surprisingly dry walk along the waterline out from Half Moon Bay and saw nothing not covered above (MD). Several of the Sandwich Terns were blogging and settling on the beach to preen.

A slightly different shot with the edge of Heysham Head as a backdrop 

Four Sandwich Tern preening on the beach

They weren't just preening on the beach. These two were definitely thinking about starting a family!
The female didn't seem overly overwhelmed, just after this clip she flew off, leaving the male preening himself. 

By mid afternoon the storm was reaching its peak. I couldn't resist it I donned my waterproofs and set off along the south wall (only to discover that my lightweight waterproof jacket needs reclassifying, as just a lightweight jacket!).
Rock Pipit 1 on Red Nab
Nothing of note on the outfalls.
There were two Sandwich Tern feeding in the harbour 
By this time I'd reached the shelter of the lighthouse, it was possible to use my camera without it being soaked. 
This is a rubbish shot of one of the terns, but does give a sense of the driving rain

As does this one

This Grey seal popped its head up in the harbour mouth, then quickly went back under.
I think it must have been too wet for it!

Footnote - the distant dark birds I showed yesterday and thought were probably Common Scoter, were also picked up by the group on Heysham Head, who identified them as Pink-Footed goose. Whoops! It just emphasises that you can't identify birds, or anything for that matter, by what you expect to see (MD).

A footnote, and now a postscript...... Golden Pheasant male seen and photographed near Sulby Tate kennels. The origin of the bird, not the record, must be regarded as "dubious".
Thanks to Tia via Middleton Facebook site