Tuesday 24 May 2022

Good Shearwater and Sanderling numbers

The fresher WNW wind dropped down to west by lunchtime. High clouds with sunshine and showers.

Seawatch report from Pete:
Sample sea passage in wind too NW off Heysham harbour 0645-0745
22 Manx Shearwater flying out (nothing else)
Rock Pipit feeding young in harbour wall nest 
2cy Shag on wooden jetty

Heysham skear - low water 14:20 (MD)
The current neap tides do not expose the outer skear so all feeding waders are restricted to inner and middle skear.
Shag 1 resting on a sand bar (presumably the same 2nd calendar year bird seen by Pete earlier)
Eider 41
Ringed Plover 3 on inner skear
Bar-Tailed Godwit 1 - this is a neat trick! It has caught a reasonable sized shrimp, I don't know if it was struggling to eat it, or deliberately "processing" it. If you watch closely you can see the shrimp start at the tip of its bill then raise to the base of the bill (I assume being moved by its tongue) before descending back down the bill to the tip. (It's only a short clip, if required, there is a slow motion replay option, click on the gear icon before selecting play)

Sanderling 34 minimum - I counted 34 feeding and I had already seen a flock of 13 fly west, but they may have doubled back. They seemed to be finding plenty to eat, but not Shrimps. They were scurrying around the mud like mice. They were all close to the waterline on the NE corner of the skear. In this clip, I pan out to show the location.

They should all be in this clip, but they can be difficult to spot and easily hidden behind, even small, obstacles. I can count 32, but that was checking frame by frame.

Sanderling coming in to feed