Thursday 25 April 2024

Better than expected seawatch

A couple of very early morning showers then mainly overcast. A freshening NW wind.

Seawatch by Pete:
Low/turning tide seawatch from back of heysham harbour as yesterday: much better than expected in routine sampling in unfavourable NW wind:  
75-85 Sandwich tern but only 11 in Lancs!, 
Arctic skua 1 dark morph low up Kent channel line, briefly chasing Sandwich Terns
Pink-Footed goose 19
30 bar tailed godwit
6 whimbrel
15 swallow.  
Most unexpected in nw winds was a group of 5 Arctic tern heading in.  
Went completely dead as wind got up and sandbanks covering with just 6 swallow and 5 sand tern in after 0830 and nothing 0840-0900 when left

Heysham skear - low water 07:30 (Malcolm)
Eider 45
Red-breasted Merganser 4
Great Crested Grebe 6
Sandwich Tern 29 minimum, some were feeding but it was quite choppy as the wind increased and many passed straight through. These are additional to Pete's, most of whose were distant.
This is a sample of life on the skear this morning. Oystercatcher and Herring gulls foraging on the shore, Great Crested Grebe on the sea and a Sandwich Tern fishing.
Whimbrel 16, I didn't see any come in today, these were already scattered around the skear at low water, so again additional to Pete's
Bar-Tailed godwit 150+
These are 12 coming in, including one summer plumage male.

As the incoming tide flushes the waders from the skear, many settle on the shoreline where freshwater drains into the sea. A wash and preen before heading for their high water roosts. These are Knot, Bar-Tailed Godwit and Oystercatcher (the yellow markers are to show where it isn't safe for the dinghy launching tractors to go)

Look how lush the gutweed is now out from the play area. No wonder the Brent were reluctant to leave.

A couple of shots by Janet, just to show how difficult it is to identify any ringed Knot roosting on the heliport.

Many Knot, but not many legs!

Just out of the recording area - horse paddock behind Middleton Parish Hall

Glossy Ibis there mid morning at least