Wednesday 29 May 2024 both ends of the day!

A SW wind all day. Sunny periods in the morning showers in the afternoon, then sunny again late evening.

Pete did an early seawatch
Sea 0510-0620: 
7 Manx Shearwater
1 Gannet
2 guillemot
3 plus 6 common scoter.  
All out except 3 c Scoter

Middleton Nature Reserve 
These shots by Janet

Lesser Whitethroat 


Burnet Companion 

Male Common Blue

It was sunny for an hour or so mid morning so I had a walk around (Malcolm). The only dragonflies I could find were a couple of Four-spotted Chasers.
Cetti's warbler, Chiffchaff, Willow warbler, Common Whitethroat, Blackcap, Reed warbler and Sedge warbler all heard singing.
The female Mute Swan wasn't sitting on her nest and appeared to be trying to salvage something from under the water. It looked like yesterday's heavy rain had raised the water level again (note the Little Grebe behind the swan at the beginning of this clip).

On the way back, I checked from the other side, expecting to confirm that the water level had risen. But is was at its normal height. I could just make out the female, now stood over her nest. There only seemed to be one egg. 
I had assumed that they had mated again after the first batch was swamped and that she was sitting on a new clutch. But perhaps this lone egg is just a remnant from the first clutch. Either way it doesn't look promising for a large mute family this year.

I checked the inner skear rocks as they became exposed again this evening (Malcolm)
Eider 12
Herring Gull 206
Lesser Black-backed gull 6
Oystercatcher 400
Knot 200 - when the Knot arrived, many took advantage of the freshwater running off to take a bath.

Gannet 1 adult had come overland from somewhere. It was clearly exhausted and the gulls were merciless, pecking at the back of its neck. It barely reached the shore and landed. The gulls then just landed around it and left it in peace!

Just another 20m and it could have landed on the sea and drifted out. It was fine for now, it tucked its head under its wing and rested, safely surrounded by alert gulls. But this beach is patrolled by the Heysham Head foxes after dark so I hope it moved on. It was still there at 20:15.

Sleeping Gannet and Herring gulls

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