Saturday 25 March 2023

Kitts blown in, and Stonechat movement continues

Heavy overnight showers stopped by 07:30, there were sunny spells by the afternoon. A fresh west wind eased and shifted more to SW.

Heysham Skear - low water 08:10 (MD)
Kittiwake 52 flew into the bay at 08:35
They seemed to "disappear", I knew they must have landed on the sea, but it took a surprising amount of time to find where they were, mainly as they were pretty much the same colour as the sea. By this time they had been joined by a Herring Gull and a few Black-Headed gulls.
Just after this clip, at 08:50, they flew out again towards Walney.

There were 10 "ducks" in the far channel and I couldn't make out what they were, the tide was coming in quickly so I couldn't get any closer. Fortunately they were still there when Pete and Jean arrived a little later. Jean realised that they all had their heads tucked in, she watched them till they "awoke". Revealing them to be 
Great Crested grebe 8 - perseverance resolving the puzzle. Presumably migrant birds.
Plus Red-breasted Merganser 2
Eider 12 - these are 6 shooting through the first channel on the rising tide
Definitely time to leave!

Pale-bellied Brent goose 6 - as I was coming off there were these four freshening up and drinking at the edge of one of the freshwater drains. Later Jean saw six.

Report from Pete:
In about three hours seawatching: 
Kittiwake 13 plus 5 plus c30 in, two single adults out and that’s it!!  The c30 were floating in on the sea, rest flying 

Red Nab to Saltmarsh towards high water (MD)
Kittiwake 1 second calendar year feeding on No.2 outflow
Pale-bellied Brent the six from the north side feeding on Red Nab then south
Wigeon 23
Rock Pipit 5 - 1 on Red Nab 4 on saltmarsh (plus 2 fighting on the helipad (ref Jean))
Stonechat 6 at least. So much for my suggestion that yesterday's female may be the last this spring. I saw more today than I see in total most springs! They were along both sides of the saltmarsh and in the flotsam covered corner. Pretty sure 2 moved on, so probably even more earlier.
One of the west side male Stonechats

Female and male Stonechat on the flotsam 

20:30 Pink-Footed geese passing over Meldon Rd (ref Janet)