Thursday 12 May 2022

Seabird movement early again, but some closer in

Wind not so fresh today and pretty much due west. High cloud with some sunny periods.

Seawatch report from Pete:
Sea 0630-0830- last 1/3 virtually birdless! 
Pomarine Skua light morph out 0710, quite probably the same in at 0740 but couldn’t be sure of identity at range/heat haze
Arctic Skua 1 dark morph close to shore 0711
min 72 Raz/Guille
8 Razorbill 
5 Guillemot 
85 Kittiwake (flocks 30 and 27)
1 Manx Shearwater 
17 Gannet
15 Common Scoter
Great White Egret northbound
2cy Shag harbour mouth. 
Swallow 20
Swift 2
Great Crested grebe
Watched from back of harbour

An hour's evening check:
Red-Throated Diver 1 summer plumage 
Kittiwake 23

South shore high water 09:10 (MD)
Shelduck 8
Little Egret 4
Whimbrel 2
Rock Pipit 2 - one each on Red Nab and Lighthouse 
Linnet just 1 male at saltmarsh plus 3 male and a female between lighthouse and waterfall 
Wheatear 3 large birds

Large female Wheatear 
Not only larger than typical, but also much more confiding, probably rarely encountered humans. The northern birds head to remote parts, as far as Greenland and Iceland, hence the need for extra bulk.

Heysham skear low water 16:15 (MD)
Just a quick check, I really just went down to see if there were any shrimps around after a couple of days of SW-W winds. 
Eider 63
Great Crested Grebe 2
Little Egret just 1on the actual skear, 4 more feeding in the rock pools near the promenade. I watched the skear bird feeding. The area it was in would normally be full of shrimps at this stage of the tide, and typically up to 12 Egret feeding on them. This one did make a few catches, not shrimps though, but tiny flatfish.

This is a blown up still from the above clip, you can see the small flatfish in its bill.
Little Egret with a small flatfish 

Despite the lack of shrimps, today was a "wader fest" with six species, but only accounting for 12 birds excluding the Oystercatchers!
Whimbrel 1
Curlew 1
Turnstone 4
Dunlin 1
Ringed Plover 5  - on inner skear.