Wednesday, 28 July 2021

Meds again - looking hungry

The WSW wind was quite fresh in the morning, becoming a strong wind by the evening. Mainly overcast with some light showers during the day, becoming heavy by late evening.

Heysham skear - low water 09:50
It somehow felt more "normal" today, I suppose by that I mean that the waders around felt like residents, not just off passage as of late. No Knot though (MD)
Great Crested Grebe 3 still in largely summer plumage
Little Egret 5
Grey Heron 1
Oystercatcher I thought I would try and estimate numbers, but it's like counting trees as you walk through a wood - they're everywhere. Eventually accounted for c1000 on the middle skear with presumably more on the outer skear.
Curlew only saw 10, definitely much reduced from recent visits, although still large numbers roosting on Red Nab.
One of today's Curlew 
Whimbrel at least 1, seen and heard several times
Turnstone 60+
Redshank c20 - this is typical numbers for this species here.
Dunlin 2 - one with Turnstone and one alone
Dunlin in summer plumage 

I'm not optimistic about attracting Brent Geese early this winter. There is some gut weed in the SE corner where they have been feeding in recent years, but not as much as many other areas. Plus there is no Sea Lettuce this year. I believe is was the crop of sea lettuce here that attracted them early last winter.
This is the SE corner plenty of weed but only gut weed and that is currently everywhere 

This is a lush area of gut weed, it's like this in several areas away from the SE corner

There are some patches of Sea Lettuce, but on the north side and only accessible on 
spring tides. This is where the honeycomb worms still prevail, I'm not suggesting the
Sea Lettuce needs the honeycomb worms but they presumably flourish in the same conditions 
Things can change of course, and I may be totally wrong anyway, it has been known! Watch this space.

South shore
Lions Mane jellyfish 10+ on the beach south of the saltmarsh, obviously a casualty of the west wind. They are getting bigger too!
Lions Mane Jellyfish plus my size 9 boot - avoid the temptation to touch!
(both the jellyfish and my foot! MD)

Rock Pipits 5 - 2 on foreshore plus 3 on Red Nab
Redshank c100
Mediterranean gull 19 all adult except 3 x 3rd calendar year 
18:35 the beach next to the wooden jetty wasn't quite exposed, but there were already 9 meds waiting on the water.
18:40 the beach starts to become exposed and the Meds arrive from both the north and south as well as off the water. 
Mediterranean gull arriving from the north
This clip is just to show how close to the wall the birds arrive, when they are hungry enough!
In just a few minutes there were 16 meds on the waterline plus two resting near the outflow, but the heavens were turning black so it was time to leave. On my way back another adult was making its way to the beach.

I got back dry, just, but suspect Lancaster got a soaking.
Black skies over Lancaster

Heysham got away with it then, but as I write this, 21:45, thunder is rumbling outside and the wind is increasing - looks like waterproofs tomorrow!