Thursday 13 April 2023

Better by the sea

Overnight rain but just light showers during the day. A strong west wind.

Seawatch report from Pete:
Sea Heysham a belated 0715-0845  
Manx Shearwater
Arctic Skua 2 - 1 dark morph in Cumbria 0730, plus another nice close Lancs dark morph 0818
Red throated diver 6 (3 of these together on sea)
Common scoter 9
Kittiwake 24 (plus now four 2cy on pipe in harbour)
Razorbill/Guillemot 2
All outbound on dropping tide bar flock of 18 Kittiwake.  Gannet would usually be expected as bread and butter on this sort of seawatch but zero.  May have exited the bay earlier.  
Also 3cy Shag heading for its fishing grounds off Heysham head

I had a walk along the south sea wall (MD), but the tide was out and it was 09:00 before I reached the lighthouse and the sea beyond. Unfortunately there was nothing moving within my range. 
This is of interest though. This young Herring gull has the remains of a Whelk egg cluster. This is the beach near the wooden jetty where the Mediterranean Gulls like to feed on the Sand Mason worms in the summer months. The mud here has been deep and soft in recent years, resulting in only limited feeding by the Mediterranean Gulls. But today, somewhat surprisingly considering how much dredging there has been recently, the mud looked firm and the worm tubes were clearly visible above it. If it remains like this, it should be better for the Meds this year, fingers crossed!
You can see the tops of the Sand Mason worms tubes poking above the mud.
It doesn't take much for silt to return, but I haven't seen it like this for over 2 years

Nature Park
It was nice to get out of the wind, there were 2 Chiffchaff and a Willow Warbler singing, plus a couple of competing male Chaffinch, the wind only allows you to hear the one singing in this clip.

Middleton Nature Reserve (MD)
Just a quick check on my way home.
Mute Swan unchanged
Mallard 5 male
Coot 5
Moorhen 3
Little Grebe 1 trilling

The hirundines were also glad to get out of the wind, there were 6 Swallow and a House Martin feeding on the west side of the sheltered "no swimming" pond. This clip starts with the House Martin. (The bird flying across after the Chiffchaff starts singing for the second time is a Heron).

Not great shots, but I have little else today


House Martin - first record this year

Willow Warbler 2
Chiffchaff 4
Cetti's Warbler 4 (one either side of the "no swimming" pond plus one each central and western marsh.