Thursday 4 May 2023

Skuas still coming through and first Sanderling and Swift

The east wind freshened all day, ending up very strong by evening. Rain held off till late evening.

Seawatch report from Jean:

This morning's seawatch was disappointing. The easterly wind didn't result in the anticipated Arctic Terns, just Sandwich Terns again and one highlight in the form of a light morph Arctic Skua:

North Harbour Wall 0725-1000

Arctic Skua 1 in at 0815

Sandwich Tern 36 (all but 2 heading out of the Bay and 3 on the yellow buoy)

Sanderling 30 in (first record this year)

Common Scoter 15 in

Whimbrel 2 heading towards Red Nab

Red-breasted Merganser 2 prs floating in, the males displaying like mad

Swallow 11 

Linnet 3

Harbour porpoise 4

Rock Pipit displaying in the caged off area of the north wall

All this against a backdrop of noisily mating Lesser Black-back and Herring Gulls on the rooves of the Centrica and Petersen buildings. 

I checked the shore out from the saltmarsh on the rising tide (MD)
Wheatear 2
Linnet 4
Whimbrel 2

Along rising waterline:
Shelduck 28
Oystercatcher c200
Curlew 14
Bar-Tailed Godwit 61, several in summer plumage.
Knot 2
Dunlin 7 in summer plumage 
This clip begins with the two Knot arriving, then some of the Godwits.

On these tides I just stand my ground and the tide brings the birds towards you. These are three of the Dunlin surrounded by Godwits, they eventually decide they are out of their depth. One of the godwits manages to grab the detachable tip of a lugworm tail.

Dunlin and a summer plumage male Bar-Tailed Godwit

Bar-Tailed Godwit

Inshore mud
Ringed Plover 12
Dunlin 93 (carefully counted, disappointingly added up to exactly 100 with the water's edge birds)
They were all feeding together, these are some of them.

One of four Little Egret on Red Nab - Janet

This 2nd calendar year Kittiwake, on their pipe in the harbour,
looks a bit bedraggled - Janet

It's Alder Leaf Beetle time again. There were 8 along the South harbour wall
Kevin Eaves

Heysham Head - Kevin Singleton 
Two displaying Rock Pipits
male and female Eider 
5 whimbrel 
2 little egret
male and female Wheatear 
Linnets too many to even guess 

I had a quick look on the skear this evening (MD). Birds (and seal) pretty much as yesterday. The east wind was very strong by this time, but there was a steady passage of 17 Swallow, being blown around like confetti as they struggled to get inshore.
Swift 1 flew over my house as I got home.(first record this year)