Tuesday 20 July 2021

First juvenile Med arrives

Still hot and sunny with west breeze.

Heysham skear - low water 15:20
Oystercatcher large numbers as ever, Curlew c50
Turnstone two lots of 10 and 2 on middle skear, probably passage. Another 14 on inner skear, possibly resident.
Redshank at least 150, largest flock 100. Smaller flocks between 6 - 30 seemed to be everywhere. All the birds I saw leaving flew east overland.
Little Egret 4

South shore 4 hr before high water
Rock Pipit 1 on Red Nab
Plenty of Black-Headed gulls on both outflows, although No.2 is still only 50% volume
Mediterranean gulls 12 - 10 adult, 1 x 3rd calendar year and 1 juvenile. Four hours before high water there were only 4 Meds on the beach by the wooden jetty, but as the tide moved up the beach more arrived, including this adult with a juvenile.
Adult Mediterranean gull with a juvenile 

Some detail of the juvenile Mediterranean gull 

This clip I actually took yesterday. Watch the Cormorant flying low over the water, it startles surface feeding fish (almost certainly Grey Mullet), some jump clear or the water, which in turn startles the Cormorant. This wasn't a fortuitous clip. This happened every time a Cormorant flew past.

As promised, these are the picture of the moths from Kevin's overnight light trap, from a couple of days ago. Each of these is a new record for the Heysham area.

Scalloped Hook-tip

Scarce Silver-lines

Scarce Footman

While I was on the skear, there were two people push netting for shrimps, but on the far side of the Kent channel. They have probably come from Grange area. Originally shrimpers from there came with a horse and cart, but always in twos, just in case a horse died. The oft quoted anecdote is that the tide could come in faster than a horse can gallop. And so it can, but only because there are miles of mud with almost no gradient. The tide can cover miles of it almost instantly, but this is only a danger if there are hidden gullies between you and safety, you make sure that there are not. When I started push netting in the 1970's the Grange lads were using tractors, but again always at least two in case one failed (they did, more so than the horses!). But these two today had only one vehicle, probably a modified quad bike. They must have some trust in it! The tide had already been coming in for an hour when I took this clip. They would have no chance of getting back if the quad bike failed, but I suppose they have a back up support that can be summoned by mobile phone, I hope they get reception there. It's much further out than it looks. At the end of the clip I zoom out to give an indication of scale (MD).