Tuesday 11 April 2023

Another arrival of Great Crested Grebes

A fresh SW wind in the morning shifted to SE in the afternoon. A bright sunny start with the anticipated rain not starting till mid afternoon 

Heysham skear - low water 09:50 (MD)
Eider 29
Great Crested Grebe 2
Red-breasted Merganser 8 - there were only 2 for most of the walk, but they like the NE skear corner as the tide is making and others arrive (Jean checked later in the tide and again there were only 2). They don't seem to congregate here to feed, it seems more like a forum for squabbling! Although, to be fair, one did get surprised by a Great Crested Grebe surfacing. 
Little Egret 4
Waders only Oystercatcher, Redshank, Curlew 10, again no Turnstone on the skear, although there were three close to the sea wall.
I found this recently dead Greater Pipefish a week or so ago. Seeing the Seahorse on Attenborough's Wild Isles reminded me of it. As far as I know the nearest Seahorses to here are North Wales (think I might have heard of them in Liverpool docks) and over in the Isle of Man. But Pipefish are the same family and are basically a straightened Seahorse, and as Seahorses, it's the males that carry the young. 
Male Greater Pipefish - you can see his empty brooding pouch between my fingers
and running right down to his tail 

Pete and Jean checked a little later in the tide.
Shag 1 3cy feeding inshore
Great Crested Grebe 27 drifted into the bay over an hour. Plus the 2 already in.
Swallow 1 NW

Heysham Nature Reserve 
Report and pictures by Jeff Gorse:A few before the rain set in today, decent amounts of insect life besides chiffchaff and blackcap singing.

Large queen wasp presumably looking for nest site.

Female tawny mining bee (seen not photographed) 

and these other solitary bees.

Hoverfly, which I think looks like a bumblebee mimic but it seems too
early in the year for them – will ask around!

Also a gorse shieldbug (not photographed)