Saturday 17 September 2022

Another sad loss!

Tom Wilmer
Tom died this afternoon after being admitted to RLI.  Tom was a key figure in the early days of the observatory with notable fieldcraft skills and awareness of possibilities which, for example, produced the first Common Rosefinch and second and third Melodious Warblers for Lancs as well as lots of ‘bread and butter’ log coverage.  He was a key figure in Educational work in the old classroom until Power station executives unfortunately decided not to continue with the programme.  Tom then moved on to other things but still made occasional visits to Heysham if the Seawatching looked promising or there was a nice October easterly.  He was a valued member of the local birding scene and will be sadly missed

Once again, the wind started light from the north then freshened as it moved to NW. plenty of sunshine for most of the day.

Heysham skear - low water 10:50 (MD)
Little Egret 36 at least - there are 27in this clip
Pete advises that there were 255 little egret in the Ashton hall roost last Sunday and a few may have been missed!

Grey Heron 1
Red-breasted Merganser 12 (2, 4 & 6)
Great Crested Grebe 2
Waders, only: Oystercatcher, Curlew, Redshank and Turnstone 
Peregrine 1 adult flushed them three times, but didn't see it catch anything 

South shore  - high water 16:30 (MD)
Grey Wagtail 1 in the newt pond again
Rock Pipit 1 near rocky outcrop 
These neap tides do not cover the mud, and the area where the Curlew Sandpiper has been feeding is now dry. No good for feeding just resting, which is what 34 Ringed Plover and 2 Dunlin were doing.
The other consequence of the dry mud is that the gulls tend to sit on it rather than stand, so little chance of checking for rings!
Common and Black-Headed gull resting on the dry mud

There were plenty of waders along the waterline out from the foreshore.
Bar-Tailed Godit 4
Grey Plover 100+
Knot c50
Dunlin c200
Two Sanderling at the front - the waders segregated by leg length

But there were other flocks of waders flying past to the south, one flock of Dunlin certainly contained some more Sanderling, a closer check of my pictures is required to establish how many (not a job for tonight).

Linnet c40 on saltmarsh 

Butterflies in Nature Park
Comma 2
Red Admiral 2
Speckled Wood several 
Large White 2
Large White

Second generation female Large White, looking splendid!

Pink-footed Goose 1000+ heading south early morning over Middleton (John)
At least one skein moving north late evening (Janet)