Tuesday 8 March 2022

Whooper galore. And, Jaz....solo no more.

The cold east to SE wind continued and freshened during the day. Mainly sunny in the morning, although visibility was limited, you couldn't see the other side of the bay. Mainly overcast after lunch.

Yesterday, Jean advised that the Whoopers were on the move. None were located yesterday, but today:
Whooper Swan 69 minimum. There were at least 47 on the sea beyond the skear, plus 9 high to the north. 
Jean had another 12 north from Heysham Nature Reserve and there was a single bird out from the Harbour.
David Kaye saw 38 on the sea from the Barrows, these could have been some of the ones seen earlier from the skear, or possibly additional birds.
These are the 9 Whooper flying north over the skear 09:00. Surprisingly difficult
to locate against the clear blue sky, despite them flying right over my head! (MD)
These are some of the Whooper on the sea, out from the skear, they were much further out than this clip suggests.

This next clip gives a sense of how the camera zoom foreshortens distance. These two flew towards me, for what seemed ages, without getting much bigger, I was expecting them to be almost at the skear by the end of this clip. Instead.....

Other stuff on the skear:
Eider, Great Crested Grebe and Red-breasted Merganser not counted, but present in similar high numbers than of late.
Pale-bellied Brent Geese 23 in the SE skear corner (some were also on Red Nab in the afternoon). There is some broken weed around still, but these birds were mainly resting, preening or exercising their flight muscles. They look to be getting ready to cross the Atlantic.

Also over the sea - ref Pete
Red-Throated Diver 2 in at 13:45 (in the Cumbrian half of the bay's air space)
Common Gull 27 adult "dribbling" north in an hour

Shag 1 2nd calendar year on the platforms near the harbour waterfall
2nd calendar year Shag 

Grey Seal between the outflows, but only showing periodically and briefly to breathe.

Finally, a bit of good news. Pete is a member of a Facebook group for lost birds of prey. Through that he discovered the details of the escaped bird seen on Sunday. It's called Jaz, and is a 2nd calendar year female Lanner Falcon. Happily Jaz is now reunited with her owner.
Jaz, now safe and sound at home. Hopefully a little wiser from her experience.