It was dead calm early on, a light north breeze picked up by mid morning. Mainly overcast, but dry.
Shaun had a look around the south side this morning:
Mediterranean gulls 11 - 9 winter plumage adult plus two 1st winter, on beach near the wooden jetty. Later Pete and Jean checked the high water roost, numbers were similar but with the addition of a 2nd winter bird, a yellow and a white darvic ringed birds (both new) just escaped being read, hopefully they will hang around.
Rock Pipit 5
Little Egret 11
Swallow 45 in lose group heading south over Middleton Nature Reserve.
Heysham skear low water 10:15
The light was strange, great visibility but the low cloud was hanging like a blanket over everything.
|Low cloud hanging over the bay in the still air|
Great Crested Grebe 13
Red-breasted Merganser 4 ( looked like a female with three immature)
Eider 53 - 46 were a distance out mainly female/immature, but some males coming out of eclipse with them. Inshore there were 7 males, either moulting out of eclipse or into first summer plumage (MD). This is one of them. I like this clip as you can here St Peter's church bells in the background.This is St Peter's church on the north side of Heysham Head, over a kilometre away, but sound travels far over mud and water.
|St Peter's church looking back from the skear|
Little Egret 12
Knot 69 - 61, 5 and 3
Not many other waders on the middle skear, but included: Oystercatcher, Redshank, Turnstone and Ringed Plover.
Swallow 1 south
Meadow Pipit 3 south
Finally a nice flock of fighter jets. These hardly affect the birds at all, probably because they are gone before the sound arrives. If you ever see a heavy Hurculese transporter flying low over the bay, they lift everything, especially when the tide is out and the birds are resting on the sand bars. This clip shows 3 + 4 fighters over the middle of the bay, followed by a single plane, probably monitoring the manoeuvre.