Thursday 29 December 2022

The wind provides some welcome variety

The SW wind didn't get as strong last night as forecast, but continued to increase into the afternoon.

Pete managed a quick lunchtime visit:
Associated with Ben my Chree midday arrival at Heysham: 
Little gull 1 adult into Bay with flock 4 Kittiwake, both these in front of the ferry
Mediterranean Gull 1 lingering 
Shag 1 juvenile flushed out of harbour,
Kittiwake 4 adult behind ferry
3 adult and 2 juvenile Kittiwake  Hey 2 outfall.
Juv/f common scoter off Stone jetty.  

The strong wind was pushing the tide in and Pete arrived at Knowlys just in time to catch the Brent there.
Pale-bellied Brent about 38 on shore - biggest count this winter so far.  Went out of sight along shore before accurate count 

Fortunately I was on the south wall by this time (MD) and managed to see this flock of 36 flying to Red Nab.
There could easily have been more, there is a group of three that often flies separately. On my way back along the wall I saw 29 fly towards the estuary, long before they normally leave Red Nab.

One of the outflow Kittiwakes turned out to be a 2nd winter. It's not possible to
see this detail at range, I didn't see it from the sea wall, till I checked my shots!

1st winter Kittiwake 

This is one of the 1st winter Kittiwakes with a Black-Headed gull. They were very difficult to follow, most of the time they were much quicker than this.

There was also an adult in the harbour
A slightly unusual angle of an adult Kittiwake 

Shag - I didn't see any in the afternoon, but a short check in the morning saw a 2nd calendar year bird leaving the harbour, so at least two birds in the area today

Kingfisher 1 on Red Nab 
Red-breasted Merganser 1 female 
Rock Pipit 3 (sea wall plus 2 together on saltmarsh)
Linnet 2 saltmarsh 

For the second day running I failed to read a ringed bird. This young gull was on one of the harbour platforms. It is part of the NW England gull project (see link on sidebar). Unfortunately, at the range I was, I couldn't stand steadily enough for a clear shot, and it had moved on as I got closer! Hopefully it will hang around a while.

Just out of the recording area - this from Pete:
From Fylde what’s app relevant to our area: 6 Bewick’s Jeremy lane and subadult yellow legged gull off pilling lane ends