Thursday 28 September 2023

A few more storm driven seabirds

The very strong overnight SW winds started to ease early morning. Overcast all day, but remarkably it remained dry.

Pete and Jean had a check first thing.
Jean checked the north side:
1000 Knot on the skear but will probably end up  on the heliport- couldn’t see any colour rings. Later another 300 flew south.
13 Red-breasted Mergansers 
3 Great Crested Grebe in the low tide channel.

Some Knot did indeed move to the Heliport, this from Howard.
I decided to visit the Heliport today to check out Knot numbers and also visibility for ring reading, the vegetation is pretty high thus obscuring lots of the wall which is going to be a problem for recording


Redshank, Knot and Oystercatcher 

South shore
Pete scanned from Ocean Edge:
Loads of birds on heysham outfalls or resting on nearby mud with long range scan from Ocean Edge: 
Black Tern 4 juvenile on seaward side of No.2 outflow
Common Tern 2 
Little gull 1 adult
Both the above were on the seaward side of No.1 outflow but were displaced by the rising tide
Mediterranean gulls 32 at least

I had a morning walk along the wall (MD). Saw the 4 Black Tern, by this time on the sea wall side of No.2 outflow.
This lonely looking Greylag goose was in the harbour. You can just about hear it honking above the sound of the wind.

Birds aren't noted for their facial expressions, but you have to say that this one looks sad!
Almost certainly never been alone before.
Shelduck 3 south.

Tom and Eric had a look in the early afternoon, at that time only 2 Black Terns were on No.2 outflow.
Little gull 1 adult on the seaward side of No.1 outflow- likely to be the same bird as earlier
Kittiwake 3 behind the IoM Ferry. 2 x 1cy and 1 adult
Several Mediterranean gulls seen both along the wall and behind the ferry
Guillemot 1
The Greylag goose was still in the harbour.
Rock Pipit 2

I checked again mid afternoon (MD). Three juvenile Black Terns on No.2 now - the important thing here is that at least two were seen at every stage of the tide today, so a visit at anytime should be productive.
Common Tern 1 juvenile

Juvenile Common Tern

This first calendar year Mediterranean gull was on No.1 outflow. It has a white darvic ring. This must be a new bird as we haven't seen any ringed  first calendar year birds this year. One to watch out for!

1cy Mediterranean gull with a white darvic ring, just beyond reading range!
Another 15 adult/2cy Mediterranean gulls turned up to feed on the beach next to the wooden jetty, including green and white ringed birds, but both previously seen this year.

Shelduck 51 feeding just beyond Red Nab
No sign of the Greylag Goose it must have flown off. But one storm affected bird won't be flying anywhere. I don't know if this is the same guillemot as seen by Tom and Eric, but I suspect not. They didn't say anything about it having a broken wing, which this bird clearly has.

It elected to remain on the rocks by No.1 outflow as the tide ebbed.
It at least managed to set its wing to the correct position and seemed to be asleep.

It won't be able to dive effectively either, but of all the places for a flightless guillemot to be at least here there will be feeding opportunities with the fish from the outflows, but almost certainly only prolonging the inevitable.

Grey Seal 1