Monday 24 May 2021

Osprey fishing....(actually, fished)

West winds, sunshine and showers.

Seawatch report from Pete:
Watch 0600-0911 with a few  gaps.
Surprisingly poor on sea with just one ‘highlight’ - flock of 60 ad Kittiwake flying in. 
Two small very distant Scoter flocks
4 Gannet
3 Sandwich tern
4 Grey Seal.  

Some pictures from Janet from her morning stroll
Four-Spotted Chaser - Middleton Nature Reserve 
Common Carpet moth - Middleton Nature Reserve 
Linnet with nesting material on Heysham Head
Not sure what the purple "fungi" is to its left (MD)

Heysham skear - low water 17:20 (MD)
A lot more going on tonight.
Eider 20+
Great Crested grebe 3
Red-breasted Merganser 2
Little Egret 7
Curlew 12
Turnstone 9
Dunlin 1
Sanderling at least 50 - c33 in one feeding group, 9 in another and 8 came in mixed flock with Turnstone.
They are in varying stages of plumage between winter and summer, but all well camouflaged on the skear when they are stationary 
There are 14 on this frame, you may need to open the image to find them all
They are easier to spot when they move, these are part of the group of at least 33 birds

Mixed flock of Sanderling and Turnstone coming in from the south

Osprey 1 - 16:10. If I'd had been a few minutes earlier, I would have probably seen it fishing, as it was I just saw it chased off the skear towards the Stone Jetty. It had a decent size fish, the best I can tell is that it is probably a Lesser-spotted Dogfish. If so it must have been caught in shallow water as these are bottom feeders. It most likely caught it in the shallow "lake" just north of the skear. If so, another chance tomorrow? (It's a similar height tide and conditions forecast to be similar. The trouble with evening feeding opportunities is that it depends on what else has been caught during the day. Plus a fish that size would last me two days! Even so, I'll be checking)
This is just a location shot

A bit more detail on this one

Dogfish have very thick tough skin, not easy to sink talons in to.
On this shot, the Osprey has only hold of one pectoral fin.

The gulls continued chasing it till it was lost from my sight, by that time it was passing quite low over the Stone Jetty.