Tuesday 17 August 2021

Gannet bonus

The wind was fresh but mainly from WNW, although it shifted slightly to west in the evening. Largely overcast with rain showers easing during the day and a bit of evening sunshine.

Heysham skear
We are back to neap tides, so the tide didn't go out far enough to uncover the outer skear.
Great Crested Grebe 2 (1 + 1)
Eider 4
Little Egret 4
Oystercatcher <500
Turnstone >100
Redshank c50
Ringed Plover c30
Curlew c30
The shrimps are getting bigger now, not quite as big as you see in fishmongers, but getting there. The west wind colours the shallow water providing feeding opportunities for the shrimps, which in turn provides a feeding opportunity for the birds. All these birds, apart from the Oystercatcher, are after shrimps in their own way. The Little Egret is most successful, but will need lots of them. Whereas one will be a decent snack for a Redshank. One of the Redshank catches one towards the end of this clip. Too valuable a prize to lose, so it runs to the mud on the right, before eating it.

South shore
This felt like a bonus walk, the sun was shining, the wind had freshened and shifted to the west.
Plenty of insects around the nature park
Brimstone 1 male
Red Admiral 2
Painted Lady 1
Large White 2
Green-Veined White 1 (very worn)
Speckled Wood 
Common Blue 

Common Darter 2
One of two female Common Darter catching the evening sun on the wooden fence.

Rock Pipit 2 on Red Nab.

Kittiwake 1 2nd calendar year 
Pete advises that this will be the same one that I photographed on 8th August 
as - "there won’t be another with moult so retarded"
It does look a bit of a state, even the top of its feet appear to be peeling.

It was clearly itching to get into adult plumage.

Mediterranean gulls 5 - at least 4 adult/3cy plus I juvenile on the sea out from the harbour mouth.
Gannet 2 - when I reached the roundhead the wind was at its peak for the day and pretty much due west, but I couldn't see anything moving. Then at 17:45, one swept out from the north wall gained height and shot off south, directly over my head, unfortunately it caught me by surprise and my camera wasn't set ideally for a bird so close, still, better than average record shots for here (MD).

So encouraged, I hung around as long as my rumbling stomach would allow. But no more passage birds seen. Unfortunately the second bird was the "sickly" bird first seen on Saturday. It was hunkered down in a hollow on the sea wall between the outflows. Easy to see from the wooden jetty area, but hidden from view from anyone passing above. At least it seemed comfortable, but the prognosis isn't good.
Location of the sickly Gannet between the outflows